My children are adopted. They were adopted at the ages of three, four and six. As with nearly all children adopted in this country over the last couple of decades, this means that their early life experiences were pretty terrible. As each was born, their collective experience of life became more damaging, as their circumstances worsened. So the eldest is least affected as her first years were perhaps less difficult experiences, while the youngest is most affected, as her entire first two years of life were appalling. I’m not going to go into detail here about their specific early life experiences, but if you want to read up on the sort of effects which can result from serious neglect or abuse, then you could read this .
Why am I writing this ? Especially now after midnight in the middle of the Easter holidays ? It’s because I’m so angry I…
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I am in an unfamiliar place.
I do not speak the language, nor know the local customs.
I do not feel well.
I approach a woman nearby.
“Excuse me, please,” I say. “I don’t mean to bother you, but I have a stomach ache. Can you help me?”
She puts her finger to her lips and shakes her head. I try to figure out why. Maybe it’s not an okay time to talk. Maybe she understands my words differently than I intend them. Maybe she thinks I just told her to put her head where the sun don’t shine. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that I haven’t communicated the way that I was supposed to.
What I don’t know is that, in this culture, it is not considered acceptable for outsiders to approach villagers. It’s just not done.
My stomach really hurts. I need help. So I try again.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” I…
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To be explicit, I mean those of you who have a paid leadership role in learning disability and autism ‘services’ for people with learning disabilities in the NHS, social care, private and not for profit providers, big charities and development agencies.
As you start your bank holiday weekend I’d like to give you something to think about, a little ruffle to the peace you have planned.
I have sat with you around tables at meetings and conferences over the last eighteen years. I have stood in front of you occasionally, maybe made a few of you shed a tear at some of the injustices out here. I know a great many of you are people of true integrity, with vision and passion. But where are you leading us?
I have sat with you for countless hours describing ‘what good looks like’ to the point where I really don’t…
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It’s Care Act Eve (The Night Before Care Act?) and time to focus on the good the new legislation may bring.
Yes, there’s not enough new money, with some councils issuing judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State as a result. Yes, there hasn’t been enough time to prepare; Luke Clements has highlighted that there was a three year implementation period for the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, whereas the Care Act comes into force less than six months since the final guidance was published. So the world will not magically become a better place for people with needs for care and support overnight. However there are undoubtedly aspects of the new law which everyone interested in the rights of disabled people and carers must surely welcome. In the spirit of an earlier post on the Children and Families Act 2014, here are my top five changes:
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