ACCESSING SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS AND EMPLOYABILITY FOR ... - Mencap

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ACCESSING SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS AND EMPLOYABILITY FOR YOUNG ADULTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

beagle1u profile image

Hello I am new HERE and have a son aged 24 and has a mild learning disability .We are living in Swansea and is desperate to "have friends and have a bit of a social life as he is living a life of isolation- as appropriate " .Any suggestions/ideas please?

Also he is desperate to have a job .We have applied to several agencies /companies and mention he has a speech learning disability on forms over the years .My son has developed strategies to help overcome/ hide deal with certain situations at interviews . I was wondering if there are actual employers out there who actively employ young people with disabilities who are able/capable. We have banged our heads against the wall for years since leaving school with sheer frustration and many tears .We have attended countless appointments with a variety of agencies to name a few disability officer at Job centre inappropriate safety ability, Careers wales-don't go there, Shaw trust-brilliant ( my son attended college and attained a level 2 in horticulture) Remploy via the job centre via Swansea city council gardening job.Can anyone please direct me to or recommend employment agencies willing to offer levels of support whilst training on the job .My son needs initial support to be shown tasks and then he is flying, is an excellent time keeper, sociable ,polite, fit and healthy. He simply needs long term work, not short 6month seasonal contracts or tons of voluntary work as he has done so for experience and for his C.V. He has been unemployed now for 16months which impacts on his .So we are thinking of a new path with work in mind .

I aware that now is not a good time with the pandemic however I trying to utilise my time in a positive way to help my son …. Thankyou for taking the time to read our plight.

13 Replies

Good Evening Beagle1u

I understand where you are coming from in regards to finding Employment with learning disabilities like your son. I know of a National agency who find placements in jobs for people with disabilities and other illnesses which finding a run of the mill job can be difficult to find the agency is CSV stands for community service volunteers. But you get paid for the work you do. Sometimes the job is a live in on the Job. I am not sure what the pay is now

The CSV are based in London and they are in the phone book and also you can search for them on line. Once the placement is completed you usually get a Job in the same company that you were on placement with. That's part of the arrangement that CSV has with a potential employer that they offer you full time employment if you are suitable for the Job

Lots of supermarkets are taking on people who have learning difficulties like Morrisons, Asda's and Tesco's. Plus Macdonald's and places like that But they don't usually advertise these vacancies because they want to see if a person will go and ask if they have any jobs going that they can do. I have known that the police have had people who have learning disabilities in a job in the administration department of the police station and have done well in their employment with the Police

The NHS also employs people who have learning difficulties. There's plenty of Jobs going but it's hard finding them if you don't know where to look. Does your son have a support worker from the social services department? They can also point you in the right direction to find employment with someone.

I am not sure how it stands in Wales but I am sure that they have similar things in Wales as we do in England. I will try and find out what is available in Wales for your son. And I will get back to you ok.

Take good care of yourselves best wishes from Peter

Hello Peter ,thankyou for your prompt reply with regard to the above. Unfortunately my son does not have a support worker ,although we have had several visits at my request at our home. I was actually told by workers that my son was doing really well in circumstances compared to others and basically others deemed much worse than my son , this was approximately eight years ago. I requested support with things like help with management with money, time , help in joining social groups to enable him to develop social skills,help with catching a bus and again some independence as was teased in college by having a taxi or myself to take him, to have a buddy friend with support from the services-we waited 18 months with repeated calls from myself to no avail.I had a phone call to say all my sons personal files had along with others had been taken from the workers car!I am aware that my son has been placed on the councils register for having a registered disability for life. Also when my son was eighteen months and daughter aged four, I went through a painful divorce and struggled to manage my own well being too and so requested support from the social services department. A social worker arrived at my home, did an assessment and said I was doing very well and the house was kept nice and clean therefore did not feel I required assistance!

It has been an uphill struggle ever since birth with early years speech therapy services of clinics from a health visitor, nursery referral for an educational psychologists assessment ,to accessing SEN units with1-2-1 TA support, limited hours of speech therapy per year(12 hours),transitions from primary, secondary and special colleges-we got there eventually but with major challenges and upset at every step .Since leaving college -yet again has been another hurdle of mine fields accessing suitable employment ,as you rightly say employers will expect you to apply which is what we have done and on rare occasions had interviews and secured a couple of short term jobs.

It should not factor but my son feels that he is some how discriminated by having to mention on the application form if he has a disability and feels this holds him back in his confidence from engaging and securing a position. General people and employers do not know or understand e.g what Autism is, the difference between learning difficulties and a learning disability? My son has to explain what his disability is and level of support he needs which causes him naturally an awkward embarrassment moment to total strangers and too in which is a very anxious setting at an interview.

I am afraid for my sons future and feel desperate for help as I am sixty, my son lives with me and time is against me. I would like for him to have the simple things day to day of a job and meeting people on a social level. My daughter fears too as their father is unwell and when both of our times end is concerned how she will manage especially when she has a family of her own and has a career as a teacher living in Cardiff.

I have not given the fight up quite yet but its an on going battle.

Thankyou for your time and patience in reading .#Keep safe.

Hi Beagle1u

I do understand where you are coming from with regards to the social services being a pain in the backside I have had loads of fights with them people. In regards to my sons care and help that he needed at that time. Also I have found that some social workers haven't got a clue about life in so far as dealing with someone who as disabilities its all text book learning and not hands on care. I am lucky really because I have worked for the Social services department at some of there respite care centres and homes so I know how they sometimes work. If you could send me a private message on here I will give you more indept help because you are giving a lot of personal information out on the website. I am not saying that it's wrong to but be careful of what you put in a public chat and that goes for everyone as we know there's a lot of people out there who are using this present time to con people out of things so be careful. I am very concerned reading about the social worker having your sons case notes taken out of his car. I bet they were on view some where. I hope you made an official complaint to the head of social services department. As that social worker shouldn't be allowed to get away with leaving documens in their car. I do know what you mean about it's an up hill struggle in getting what your son needs it's the same for me .but I am determined to get my son the help he needs. There are several ways to get help with your son's finances which I will tell you about in a private message. As I am now doing that for my 20 year old son as I am sixty five with health problems and disability due to the type of work I did before retiring.. it's a very hard world out there and some people don't know what a struggle it is to get a family member the help that they need. If I was you I would contact Adult social care team in your area and ask for help with your son. They should now give it ( not being rude) because of your age. And they have a duty to protect the person who has special needs which autism is classed as. I am willing to help anyone else who has problems with government departments or who don't know who or how to get the help that they need. I feel that because a lot of people on this website has a loved one or themselves have disabilities or illnesses that we can help each other with how they got around that particular problem. You take good care of yourself and your son. Stay safe always. Peter x

Hello Pete,

Thankyou for your reply and I take on board the advice given with giving detailed information, probably due to a naivety on my part being old as you rightly say its how the world is with the internet !

I have looked at the CVS list and noted employers who are local to my area and have been amazed to see there are so many. More so why the various agencies, job centres etc have not ever mentioned this or even suggest to furnish us with any information that there are actual employers who do employ people with disabilities bearing in mind we have been pushed from pillar to post and then faced a brick wall on umpteen occasions. It has been like a maze and then just going around in circles with so much precious time wasted. My son uses the phrase "Mum its all broken promises on every occasion" and I feel that I have let him down even though I have pursued all avenues available to me and a failed mother. But as I say I have felt knocked down so many times with this .I still feel that I have to get up and fight his corner by not giving up which makes feel desperate for help. Though we are still where WE STARTED -no suitable social meeting places -no friends to mix with socially - no employment where my son could also meet people.

I feel unless I can seek suitable employment as a starting point he will be stuck forever in this situation .I will endeavour to contact and follow up the Adult Social Care Team as you kindly suggested.

Thankyou for your kind offer to private message you too and I appreciate the info received to date as this is helping to me forward -it feels like an uphill campaign to be honest!

Kind regards and Be Safe.

Good afternoon Beagle1u

Let me put you right on a comment that you have made in your reply to me. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. You are doing all you can for your son. You are a good mother from what I have read because not many parents would have done what you have tried to do for your son. And that includes parents of children who have not got a child or young adult with special needs person to care for.

I am pleased that you found CSV useful the reason why the departments don't know about these other Jobs that CSV has on there books is because CSV gets the person who is finding it difficult to get a place of employment a Job by contacting the company themselves and introduce the person to them then they give them a trial period of a month to 3 months then if they are suitable for the Job they take the person on. But if the person isn't suitable the Employer let's CSV know a month before the trial period ends and then CSV finds the person a other Job and so on until they find the most suitable employment for the person. CSV cares about the person who has special needs and treats them like a human being where as Job centres and some other agencies treat the person as a number or a item to be found a Job. That's why Job centres send you to Jobs that are on their books which are not suitable for the person. And if you don't attend the interview you get sanctioned and loose your benefits money. But CSV don't do that as they match the person to the Job who both the Employer and CSV think will be ideal for the Job. I introduced a lot of people who had mental health issues and where in Hospital but CSV found nearly all of them full time employments when I was working in Nursing. So I think if you contact CSV and ask them to send you details of how they can help your son I am sure that they will. Take good care of yourselves. Petet

Kaneo profile image
Kaneo in reply to beagle1u

I’m having the same problem getting eny help with my 32 year old son

I understand your situation and you have worked so hard to get where you have . I am in the same position and have a son who turned 23 y this year but has been affected by the pandemic . Although I have two boys both needy. I think because of the pandemic it’s going to be a struggle but as another post said try Supermarkets they are likely to find him something . If he would like to get in touch with my son let me know and how. We are in London he’s in to Art and music.

groups

i have mild leanrning disability find out if there any group who work with people disability

sedley

Awwe thankyou for that piece of information as that is a very good idea.I will add that to my list and fingers crossed we may have some good news with a reply.

Thankyou so much!

Hi May I ask how Did You found out your son has mild learning disability and what is causing these?

beagle1u profile image
beagle1u in reply to Soczela

Hello , my son initially was not developing in his milestones from birth and fortunately though I had an older daughter I could see he was not doing the usual things like babbling ,crawling etc in fact he was a really good baby but did not compare because everyone develops at different stages boy or girl. My sister was a health visitor and I expressed my concerns also to my own health visitor as my son did not speak at all .We had speech therapy for about 18months before attending nursery and then the head teacher made a referral to local authority for an assessment which really hit home to me.

The diagnosis was made by the educational psychologist and my son had a statement of educational needs SEN and from there went to a specialist speech and language unit within a main stream infants school, where all the boys looked the same quiet ,poor eye contact -so I knew this was the right setting and teachers were amazing !

There are a number of various reasons for us all as there is not one answer as to why and I have never been categorically given this information though you read, look for answers, traits to compare but we are all unique individuals too. The speech therapist explained which helped me to understand my sons condition why my sons speech was so impaired and this affected his learning access to all areas of the curriculum which was global. My son did not speak until he was nine years of age and then it was just three word sentences using Makaton, sounding out and clapping with intonation. and able him to make himself understood.It took years to develop a lexicon of words and pictures to formulate and structure a simple sentence. .Since then, I am so proud to say his speech with a lot of hard work, dedication and support from therapists and his mother have all helped in developing his learning .Then when my son was sixteen in college was diagnosed with mild Autism traits too. It is an ongoing day to day challenge full of lifes little surprises !

Hope this helps in answering you questions .#Keep safe

I have been reading your postings and would just like to tell you that the local Tesco superstore in our small town has provided my son with employment and a strong, caring circle of friends. At the outset it meant I had to persist in chasing his application so I know how you feel bearing all the responsibility for finding a job for your son. My son works for 2 hours on a Monday & Wednesday clearing empty cardboard boxes from the shelves. He has also moved empty baskets to the front entrance & had a short spell collecting trolleys in the car park. From what I read about your son none of these tasks would be mentally challenging for him once shown the routine and would get him on the employment ladder. The Tesco staff look out for him and let me know if there are concerns, which is very rare I must say. Obviously you can't t do much at the moment as I presume you are isolating with the virus which is a shame as many supermarkets are needing extra staff at present and clearing boxes from shelves must be important. My son also has diabetes type2 so has had to self isolate but on full pay for 12 weeks so you can see supermarkets are a good place to start. Perhaps a short email enquiring re possibilities in this area might be a start? Sorry if you have tried this route already but after 15 years of employment (my son is 40!) I thought our situation might encourage you. I'm m searching for Independent living and feel a failure in this area so we have alot in common! Keep going and I pray that you eventually find a job that is suitable.

I identify too with all these posts. It seems an uphill struggle from the day they are diagnosed. My son has mild/moderate learning disability and has a statement from the age of 7, he then had 1 to 1 help all through primary and secondary education and remained in mainstream school. He was also diagnosed with atypical absence epilepsy at 7 which is associated with learning problems. Since leaving school he has been on supported internship programs, princes trust courses, had various voluntary positions and a couple of paid jobs that unfortunately didn’t last. He is desperate for more of a social life and currently due to the pandemic isn’t working. He lives with myself and his dad but we worry for his future. It’s very easy to think you’re to blame for not doing enough.... I constantly feel this way and am desperate for someone to help us and point us in the right direction. I also realise that as they get older, they lose confidence in their abilities as all of us do and perhaps more so at the moment. You sound like a very devoted mum and are doing everything you can for your son. Hang in there.

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