A colleague reflected the discomfort telling us of the father of a 15-year-okd who had described his son a like a two-year-old… such a provocative comment… so many feelings and thoughts.
Using analogies to infants and children in the intellectual disability world… seems so often to go hand in hand with a tacit response, unspoken but shared.
But not all responses are the same. Not all intentions in uttering the words are the same. Not all interpretations of meaning are the same.
Hoping we can have a conversation to explore the use of age analogies, not to come to the “right” answer, but to understand different perspectives and the thinking (surface and deep) underlying the feelings.
I know I often stand as an outlier in using analogies of age. I know I need to unpack why I do this, and whether I should continue to do so. Can I encourage you to share your thoughts here on this often contentious topic… I will share some of my thoughts as a comment, as to keep the starter post neutral.
This side box was in the Lambeth report. Some of the things I agree with, some I’m not so sure about. I mean, you can’t define meaningful by saying it is meaningful to the person – it circuitous, because it still doesn’t say what’s meaningful. What is genuinely enjoyable – and is enjoyment necessary for meaning, or is just things that provoke us to action or thought (enjoyable, frustrating, or interesting)? Where are the dividing line between what you or I might find meaningful, and what each individual with PIMD might find meaningful (does it always need to have a community parameter?)
What do you think? Have you seen any better definitions of meaningful activities
What are ‘meaningful activities’?
• They are stimulating and meaningful to the individual.
• People’s physical and health needs are supported in a dignified manner.
• The person can access the community by taking part in activities that they find genuinely enjoyable.
• They recognise that many people with PMLD experience the world largely on sensory level and take this into account.
• People are included in community activities in ways that are meaningful to each person.
• Manual handling policy and practice don’t act as a barrier to the person taking part in community activities.
• They recognise the importance of one-to-one interaction, with a workforce who are skilled in meeting complex health needs, and trained in nonformal communication techniques.
• Suitable and flexible transport is provided that enables people to physically move around their community.