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Help with how to explain Learning Difficulties to a 4 year old

(6 Posts)
tiddlerslate Fri 27-May-11 11:02:24

My situation is that the house next to us is a home for adults with learning difficulties (mainly Autism). To cut a long story short this is a private company who take adults who have been referred by the council.

DH and several other neighbours recently met with the new manager next door who told him the home has been mis managed for years (for example one resident screams at all hours of the night and day needs to be communicated with in sign language. He's been there 8 years and they have never had any member of staff able to do sign language).

Another resident regularly has episodes out in the garden (shouting , screaming, swearing and throwing things into our garden - clothes, cups, ham and recently a china plate which hit me!) and bangs on the fence.

DD1 is terrified of this and is reluctant to play in our garden.

I've tried to explain to her that he can't help the way he behaves and we have to be kind and patient etc but she is still really frightened. This includes wanting to check there's no one from next door in the street before we leave for school. Recently she said to my MIL that she liked her garden best as it was quiet and no one could hurt her there. That broke my heart.

Please please don't think I am against care in the community or anything like this. I just need some help with how I handle this situation with my DD.

Thanks and sorry this is so long

wigglemama Fri 27-May-11 17:30:03

To be honest, I don't think there is alot you can do. She is too young to be able to fully understand that this person is not going to hurt her. After all, he is displaying behaviour that she has probably been told is wrong/naughty if she or another child were to do it. I don't think it makes you any less accepting or tolerant of people with learning difficulties, it's just hard to explain to a 4 year old! If you put yourself in her little shoes you would probably feel scared too. As she gets older she will have a better understanding, but for now, I would just keep doing what you are xxx

sfxmum Fri 27-May-11 17:34:30

well I don't think the problem is the learning disability/ autism or whatever, but rather not very good management of the home
speaking as someone who managed care homes for years, some where very challenging behaviour was displayed

sometimes things happen and then you make sure you communicated well with the community, but really massive levels of disruption means something is really wrong with the set up

Sylvaniasandwich Fri 27-May-11 17:45:45

I think you explain that he has something wrong with his brain and it makes him behave strangely at times. And that yes it is frightening (and actually best to keep away when it is happening). And I would just do the checking tbh. And i would put up a very high fence so that nothing can come over!

tiddlerslate Sat 28-May-11 00:01:21

thank you all so much for replying. Both DD's much happier today and out in the garden after school no problems.

sfxmum - I do think there are things wrong with the management of this home. They have never communicated with any of the neighbours. We went to them as people have got to the end of their tethers over the noise levels especially at night. The home until recently didnt have any system to log complaints which seems a bit strange to me.

Also the carers sit out in the garden discussing residents medical details, medication etc. I can hear every word and all I'm doing is hanging out washing. They do have an office on site and I think they should really keep this type of discussion for in there.

I'm hoping the new manager will sort things out, she seems very switched on and is an autism specialist.

sfxmum Sat 28-May-11 00:36:27

I would be concerned about the obvious disregard for the residents right to confidentiality.
Also the lack of obvious complaints procedure, afaik it is still the law to have a complaints procedure. I dealt with many, some valid some clearly just whines and born out of prejudice but I always logged them and gave them the option to put it in writing and pointed them in the direction of the regulating body, they must be registered
it is shame really because that is not really integration and community living

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