Are you ready to celebrate Learning Disability Week 2021? It’s a special week, running from the 14th till the 20th of June, dedicated to raising awareness of learning disabilities, what they are, who has them, and why they should be supported instead of shunned.
What is a Learning Disability?
Described by Mencap, a Learning Disability is ‘a reduced intellectual ability and a difficulty with everyday activities which affects someone for their whole life.’
People with a Learning Disability will need more time and support when socialising, managing money, or carrying out household tasks. And with that time and support, they’ll be able to live happily and independently.
How many people have Learning Disabilities in the UK?
There are 1.5 million people with a Learning Disability in the UK*. Amongst them are 351,000 are people under the age of 18.
How can I support someone with a Learning Disability?
- Ask how you can help. It’s a great place for the individual to set their own boundaries.
- Listen carefully, don’t assume or finish sentences.
- Consider how you talk to them, your tone of voice, body language and the words you use. Try talking a bit slower and in simpler sentences.
- Give them the time they need to figure things out.
- Offer them support when they need it (counting money, introducing them to people).
How can I get involved in Learning Disability Week 2021?
This year’s Learning Disability Week theme is Art & Creativity; Mencap are asking you to channel your inner artist and express yourself!
Getting creative is a great way to connect to your emotions, friends, and family by expressing yourself in a way that works best for you. Whether that’s planting flowers in the garden, painting a self-portrait, colouring by numbers, taking photographs on a nature walk, writing a song or choreographing a dance routine. The possibilities are endless. So let your creativity guide your art, and have fun.
Sensory Benefits of Art & Creativity:
Mindfulness: Art takes concentration and focus, which are the two foundations of mindfulness, helping you forget about your worries and relax.
Self-expression: You might not be brilliant at putting how you’re feeling into words, but you might be able to do that through art. It’s a known fact that a picture can paint a thousand words. Express yourself!
Imagination building: Art can help you explore your imagination in the real world. Draw a magical fairy kingdom, your pet dragon or yourself as a superhero. Develop your creative skills and let your imagination run wild.
Fine Motor: Art usually involves using your hands, carefully holding onto brushes, swiping your finger across an iPad, or slotting together Lego bricks. All of these exercises are a simple yet effective way of developing fine motor skills.
Find Out More:
If you’re interested in finding out more about Learning Disability Week, check out Mencap’s website. They’ve put together a bunch of information and resources to help you celebrate the week.
Let us know how you’re celebrating the week by sharing your activities with us on social media @RhinoSensoryUK using Mencap’s #LDArtWeek hashtag.
Explore our Autism resource collection to support your senses and creativity all year round.
*Figures are referenced from Mencap