Learning /jobs/life/learning difficulties - Mencap


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Learning /jobs/life/learning difficulties


Hi I'm looking for advice please I Don't know what to do anymore just feel completely trapped.

I've trued many different jobs non of them have ever worked out for me one lasted 2 days I couldn't pick up the till and keep up with speed ended up having panic attack. They said that I weren't suited so that didn't last.

2019 I did apprenticeship I failed this, they have me some support saud about learning difficulties thiygh to be honest I panicked and failed at this. I used to have support teacher at school they used to do a lot for me I guess, I know it sounds bad.

I just feel useless because I know I keep failing and feel anixious most days. I'm confused as I can't seem to do anything right abd feel left behind I'm not good at communicating with others to be honest especially if it's not one on one.

I've never been diagnosed with anything, I'm saying this as I've been asked before 'Do you have problems with learning' so I feel like I am just very unintelligent to be honest.

I've been on universal credit since Feb 2020. I spend most of my life out of work or in unpaid positions.

Any advice I'd be grateful for please just so confused. Most days I just feel trapped,thiugh I try to hide it as I don't want family to know though it makes me feel like I'm going crazy.

Just wondered if its normal if anyone else feels this way?

15 Replies

Hi there A2323 (🙂),

There are many people who feel like you whether they have the label or not. We live in a very unnatural way and school is run in very strange ways. Like people are widgets being made in a factory. Here's a link to a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson a specialist in education who says schooling in it's present form kills creativity in children. There's a cartoon artist drawing as he speaks which makes it really interesting and easy to understand. It's funny too - just because someone doesnt fit into the school system doesnt mean they're unintelligent. Many children in the USA and an increasing number here are medicated and labelled ADHD or some other configuration of As and Hs and Ds. In fact these kids are just unable to sit for 22 hours a week and take notes from a whiteboard. Their creativity is stifled so uniformity can reign supreme. People who may have an interest in physical creativity have little or no route to success or achievement and are so labelled unintelligent. Take a look and s we yourself through different eyes.


I've been an assistant chief executive of a large organisation, have two degrees and can tell you I sometimes feel the way you do. Social anxiety is so common and much of it stems from not fitting in the school system. It's a waste of the natural inquisitiveness and creativity that 98% of us have as human beings; it's more than a waste it's being deliberately squashed. Rediscover your creativity whatever it is. Dance to music on the radio, sing along with the great opera singers, get some plasticine and fashion your own masterpieces, most of all be in nature as much as you can. It knows how to be creative and you'll relearn it. All best wishes. X

Dolton in reply to Dolton

Oops dont think that link works. youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY try this or google Sir Ken Robinson Do Schools Kill Ceeativity TED talks.

A2323 in reply to Dolton

Thank you Dalton, for your advice and for all the information I appreciate that you spend the time writing this. I will watch the video.

I agree schools do kinda ruin your creativity and make you feel bad for not fitting in.

Best wishes

Hi A2323, Agree with Dolton and illustration of dancer at end of TED talk. There is a difference between having a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia and intelligence. Google famous people who have it. If you do have a 'label'/diagnosis then Equalities Act is there to help employer make reasonable adjustments in work. Being in an unpaid position doesn't mean you are not developing skills. My daughter has LD and is never likely to work but got great pleasure out of helping with animals at trekking centre before lockdown came. Stay positive.

A2323 in reply to XGCC


Yeah school makes you feel like your the one in the wrong I agree, they damaged creativity with realist.

I don't have a label, only had support in school and previous employer said about it and needing extra support.

I don't really have the option of unpaid work anymore on Universal Credit, though would have liked the opportunities especially if it were helping animals or something. How did your Daughter apply to do this please?

I feel bad been out of work especially as many people come under fire for been on Universal Credit as lazy abd not wanting to work.

If I knew I could do a job successfully and not be in the way, I'd be happy.

Thank you fir taking the time to leave advice I appreciate it.

XGCC in reply to A2323

She got the place via Social care with Shared Lives support worker helping though I made phone calls etc. A friend of hers helps at City Farm. In addition to suggestions below, contact adult help desk - get an assessment though it does take time. :)

A2323 in reply to XGCC

Thank you, been advised by someone to do animal care as I cope with animals way better, she said something about learning grants,to ask my advisor and Universal Credit.

I asked my universal Credit advisor, he said they don't really do that kind of thing and mist extra help is for people that likely won't get work until over a year.

I'm 25 now though so don't think any help is available anymore once you reach 25.

Thank you for answering sorry I took long to reply just been little worked up and forgot to read it properly.

Best wishes


Helllo A2323

I am sorry you are feeling like this and you aren't getting the support you need.

It would be worth talking to your GP about how you are feeling - if you are feeling anxious or stressed. They would also be able to help if you want to ask more about learning disability and learning difficulties.

It is natural to want to work, and this must be very difficult if you find communicating difficult.

Is there anyone in your family that you can talk to about how you feel? Or a friend? They may be able to find your support. I know it is tricky at the moment because of coronavirus, but don't give up.

Here is a link to Mind (a mental health charity) who have lots of ideas of how to cope with anxiety -mind.org.uk/information-sup...

Mind also have local groups so it would be worth checking if there is one near you.

Please let us know how you get on.

Best wishes


A2323 in reply to Sarah_Mencap

Thank you Sarah, To be honest I don't know if I still have a GP or if I might have got struck off for not going, I think I am struck off with dentists as I don't feel comfortable going I know it sounds crazy.I don't know how I'd explain things.

I don't tell my family much to be honest as they have health issues unfortunately. I talk to my friend about things though haven't been able to with lockdown feel alone.

I'm on Universal credit, so apply for absolutely anything to fulfil this, though I'm worried as I'm not good at directions and getting to places. Also worried because it's effecting my family also.

I want to find work and at the same time I'm terrified that if I do, I'll fail and feel annoyed with myself and also it creates a mess with non/dependent reduction as my parents out of work due to health. My Dad gets careers allowance for looking after someone unrelated.

Sorry if it's long just trying to explain things as clear as I can.

Thank you

Sarah for taking the time to give me advice.

Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to A2323

Thanks for getting back to me.

You really do explain yourself very well here.

A few more ideas from me. If you are 25 or under you may find these helpful:

> Kooth over online support for young people - kooth.com/

> NHS Go is for people up to 25 - nhsgo.uk/

> The Mix is excellent and has lots of advice and information for young people here - themix.org.uk/ They also have text and phone support if you want to chat to someone about what is going on in your life.

> if you want think about counselling (just talking) to a professional about how you are feeling then have a look here to see what is available near you - youthaccess.org.uk/

Finally, I would have another go at seeing your GP, or registering with a GP. I am not keen on going to the GP either, but it is really important. They would want to help you, and will know about what sort of support is available near where you live. It is also important to be registered with a GP so they will know when to ask you go for a coronavirus vaccine.

Best wishes


A2323 in reply to Sarah_Mencap

Thank you Sarah om 25 was 25 last year.

I've looked at some sites and grants for training and things thoihhy in not sure there's anything for me now I'm 25 most say until 25 so think it gets cut off?

I've been advised to work with animals, one advisory person (not universal credit) said about that as I explained that I find it hard with people and panic more hard to know what there thinking and that think that's what it is.

Job centre advisor said that it's not that realistic around my area really so I'm not sure what will happen they just said retail, though I'm worried as I did unpaid in shop though was overwhelming when lots of customers were around, and having to welcome them. Don't like shops where they get really close to you all over you so can't did that with other people. I usually just get out as fast as usual as its to much.

Thank yih for your reply sorry took me so long to reply, just paniced about future and that so wanted to calm before reading.

Best wushes

Emma_MencapCommunity friend

Hey A2323 - great to have you on the forum. 👍

I expect the majority of people have felt like this at some point in their lives, so please don't feel that you're on your own! The pandemic has also now changed things so much.

Have you been in contact with your local Job Centre? I believe there is an assessment that can be made, to try and find a more suitable opportunity.

You may feel like you 'keep failing' - but what's amazing is that you aren't giving up. And I'd say that is a massive success! So well done!

I used to write for a living, but found I would quite often make mistakes. Eventually I moved out of this role, and feel much better.

The right kind of role is out there for you I'm sure, and I hope you get to find it soon.


A2323 in reply to Emma_Mencap

Thank you Emma for taking to time to give some advice I appreciate it.

The job centre thing I'm not sure about as I'm on Universal Credit so guessing it'd be excluded?

I think everything's got more intense since lockdown, found it hard before though it feels like it's only going to get worse not better, am scared for the future.

How did you know when something was right or not?

I hope there is a role, I will keep looking.

Thank you best wishes

learner01 in reply to A2323

Hi, I think you have explained well. It sounds as though you may have a specific learning difficulty . Such as dyspraxia or dyslexia. You need to be assessed by an educational psychologist specialising in learning difficulties who will be able to find out by special tests what you are struggling with and how to help. You cannot fail the tests they do because they are not pass or fail tests but tests to see what difficulties you have.

If you are 19 to 25 and have a learning difficulty you are entitled to support from your local authority and to have an Education, Health Care Plan - EHCP- which must be provided by them. Your GP might be able to refer you to an educational psychologist or other therapists who would be able to say what support you need.

You are clearly an intelligent person who has so far been let down by the education system.

It is possible that you have slow processing which means you need more time to understand information you are given. It is a learning difficulty. Or it may be that you have difficulty in understanding language.

Once you know why you have been struggling it should be possible to get the right help and support.

Try an Internet search for specific learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyspraxia etc. There are organisations that can give you more information and help you get the support you might need.

Emma_MencapCommunity friend

Hey A2323 - hope you're doing well today.

I believe you may still use Job Centre services when you are on Universal Credit. You would only stop receiving your Universal Credit payments if you got paid a certain amount in your new job.

But I must say this is a new area for me and I don't want to give you poor advice - I have seen some information on here though:


And there's also a 'web chat' link, and a phone number - potentially someone at the Money Advice Service could provide you with more information?

On my own personal job situation.. I guess I knew it felt right when I changed my role and didn't feel scared of making mistakes anymore. That was a load off my mind!

I hope you manage to find support either with your GP or another service. Please keep up posted and let us know how you're getting on, or if there's anything else we can do. We're here for you!

Thank you,


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