Friday, 30 June 2017

My experience working with Adults with Learning Disabilities (and what it has taught me)



It has now been officially 6 months since I began working as a Support Worker for Adults with Learning Disabilities. It certainly has been some roller coaster and has opened my eyes massively to how difficult this sort of job can be. Nevertheless, I can honestly say that I love my job and wouldn't change it for the world!

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My work really has taught me a lot. Working with such a variety of people with a huge range of abilities has really built my confidence when it comes to communicating with others. You are faced with so many people who use such a range of communication, everything from sign language, tablets, speech cards or picture books can be used, as well as ordinary conversation. Being able to adapt to this in my work has been challenging as it was something I never had to deal with in the past, however I have learned to adapt very quickly and my confidence improves every day.

It has also inspired me to start learning Makaton (sign language) too... something I have always wanted to do, but never got round to getting done.



I have always been someone who treats people equally, no matter who they are and have never been someone who judges people. Nevertheless this has became much more prominent since starting my job. No matter if someone has a learning disability or not, they all have the same needs, same wants and all have their own likes and dislikes. It really does teach yo to be a better listener, as it can take time for someone to express what they have to say. Giving someone the time they need to communicate with you and being patient really can make all the difference and it is so rewarding to see how much they appreciate that time.


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Working in this area has also really helped me come back down to earth when I am having a bad day. For a lot of the people I work with, it's the littlest things that bring a smile to their faces. Whether it is a specific thing for lunch, a day out in the summer, or even something as simple as being first onto the bus... it is these small things that really can make their day. It has helped me appreciate things more in my day to day life, and taught me not to take anything for granted, even the smallest things. 

I have also became much more flexible and able to adapt to a situation much faster than before. If an issues arises I can plan around it, or change my plans in order to get the best out of everyone. Being dedicated is important in this line of work in my opinion and I often make sure I am flexible with my plans to ensure everyone enjoys their time with me. Ensuring that the service users have fun is main priority, and I think that being quick to adapt to a situation is one of the most valuable skills you can gain to ensure the best is achieved.


Lastly, I have learned to have fun and expect the unexpected. No day is different and going into work with a positive attitude (even on those horrible Monday mornings) is essential to ensuring you have fun, as well as everyone else who works with you. No matter what Disabilities people have, the one thing everyone has in common is to enjoy their day and if you have fun, they will definitely feed of it. I love experiencing different groups and activities and love the idea that no day is the same, you really have no idea what's in store when you wake up in the morning.

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Working with Adults with Learning Disabilities is the most rewarding job I have ever done. Seeing how much your hard work is appreciated by the service users is the best feeling in the world and it really has taught me so much. It is not easy, some days are very tough and exhausting. Nevertheless no matter if someone has a Learning Disability or not, we are all equal and being able to help people when they need it and give them experiences they might previously not have had is the best feeling ever.....

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and if you are in the same line of work, what has it taught you? I would love to know :)

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Thanks for reading and take care! :)


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2 comments:

  1. This is such a lovely, well written, englightening post. It popped up randomly on my twitter and was such a coincidence because I had just been discussing this type of job with my mum. I love how you've emphasised 'the small things' - they really are the most important.
    xx

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    1. Aww thank you so much... glad you enjoyed it! I really do mean every word, I love my job and it is so rewarding! It teaches you so much... :)

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