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16 June 2022
Kate Brackley works at Bild and is writing a series of blog posts. For this blog she talks about her experience of transition and the importance of person centred planning.
General information and experiences
This is an area that involves people with learning disabilities at the heart of everything and allowing them to lead the way for the rest of their life. Planning for transition and person-centred planning has to be done by the person with a learning disability, allowing them to say what they want to make happen to change their lives for the better.
In 2001 I began the process of transition and I created the first stages of a plan that could be life changing. I felt so important and I had people that I wanted there.It felt so good when doing my first person centred plan.
From this point I thought of lots of things that I wanted to achieve in my life, as this was so new to me. I looked at every single thing that I had dreamed so much about. It all got written down and images were added and my first support plan was put in place.It empowered me to achieve all that I wanted to do.
I employed my first support worker and it felt good. From this point I could lead a life that I always wanted and dreamed of for so long − to live an independent life.
Transition starts when a child is becoming an adult. A plan called a ‘transition pathway’ begins and this shows what the person would like to do in their further education and in other parts of their life. This means that we can create a person centred plan to make a pathway for what they would like to do in the future.
Person centred planning
This is all about putting the person in the middle of the plan, so they can say what they would like to happen for their future. Planning helps people to make sure that they can work towards, and achieve, their dreams and aspirations in the future and beyond.
Why is this so important?
It is important to get this right, as this is the beginning of their lives and is a way of identifying what really matters to them alongside working with families, carers and people that know them best. It can make such a difference to people with learning disabilities and autistic people’s lives.
What tools and approaches can we use?
The tool that I have personally used was developing a circle of support and looking at who the most important people are to me and where they are in the circle as to the relevance of importance to them and what services are out there that can help me.
Using a person centred plan really helps to identify what help and support the person needs to get the best support that will change things for the better.
There are different approaches that can also help for those that will need that extra support, for example by using different methods like Talking Mats, communication aids, and to learn from the people themselves. Everyone, including people with profound and multiple disabilities and those who are non-verbal should get extra support to include them at the heart of everything.
What can we achieve?
At the end of this process the ultimate thing is encouraging people to live as independently as possible with the right support. By using the transition pathway and person centred plan, we can focus on changing people’s lives for the better.
This is included in the social model for learning disabilities, looking at what people with learning disabilities can do and by using people’s talents they can achieve their goals.
How can we do more to encourage people with learning disabilities to have their lives changed for the better?
We need to listen and support people to believe that they can achieve anything given the right support.
Support for people is essential as this will give them the encouragement and also the confidence to really shine and they can have a voice to speak out and to really make a change in all aspects of their life by leading the way on how they want to live.
Looking at what I have written the one key thing is about the person with a learning disability at the centre and letting them make the choices and decisions for themselves, ok they might make a few mistakes but we all learn in different ways and this can be a learning experience for us all.
I turned my life around and its been amazing. The life that I am living now is proof as to how I have changed my life around and I love my life now. I have the best support that is tailored to my needs and the way that I would like my life to lead as being independent and I wouldn’t change it for the world. That’s how transitions and person centred planning can help people to live the life they want.
By reading this I hope it empowers people to have the life they want. It really does make a lot of people’s lives better and they can do whatever they want to do with the right and best support.
I hope that whoever reads this can reflect on the comments and think how they can help people with learning disabilities to get more voices heard and for them to change their lives for the better. The more people who have their lives changed the more we can have the whole world hear us say,
“Nothing about us without us“.
Where to get more information
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
National Disability Authority
Department of Health
Department of Health