Judo & Disabilities
Like everyone else, people with an intellectual disability enjoy activities and meeting new people. Most people with an intellectual disability are very able and value any opportunity for new experiences. Within these experiences the core values of offering choice and independence in relation to all elements of participation is of extreme importance.
Each person with an intellectual disability is an individual. Therefore it is important in getting to know each individual - to spend time with them and/or ensure that an overview of any specific needs the person may have is received firstly from themselves and then the person's family/support worker. There are some particular points to be aware of.
These include the following:
> People with Down Syndrome may have a circulatory disorder. They may also have poor co-ordination and difficulty with steps.
> People with intellectual disability who also have epilepsy may be prone to photosensitivity. Therefore flashing lights at a disco and some lighting from films may precipitate a seizure.
> Some people with learning difficulties may react negatively to change - mostly through fear of the unknown. Its best to introduce change very gradually, eg new coach or helper.
> Do not sensationalise the accomplishments of people with learning disability. Respect their acheivements as you would any athlete.
The above does not pertain to all individuals with intellectual disability. However it is important to be aware of these points and ensure time is spent getting to know each person's abilities as well as their needs.
COMMUNICATING AND MEETING PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
- say what you want to say, clearly and simply
DON'T - use jargon
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