Lessons to raise our awareness and understanding of learning disability.

This resource has been developed as a means of reducing the bullying experienced by people with learning disabilities.

The framework and content of the lessons are based upon findings from three sources.

  1. A literature review of anti-bullying interventions.
  2. An overview of current developments and practice in this area.
  3. And, perhaps most importantly, the experiences and views of people with learning disabilities and their families.

The evidence suggested that we needed a resource with a broader focus than bullying alone. While generic anti-bullying interventions deal with issues that affect children and young people with and without learning disabilities, there is still a need to tackle the frequent and damaging bullying experienced by children with learning disabilities. Being a member of a stigmatised group and looking or behaving in ways that mark them out as being different, makes these young people more vulnerable to bullying. Not only that, but communication, cognitive and emotional difficulties often make it harder for these young people to cope with being bullied. Even if efforts are made to increase their resilience and confidence, this doesn’t change the way that other people might think of them or the wider societal attitudes that make people with learning disabilities targets.

Research studies that have looked at young people’s acceptance of peers with learning disabilities suggest that a good way to challenge discriminatory views is to increase young people’s awareness of the particular difficulties their peers face. Having empathy helps to bring people closer. In short, all of the evidence pointed to the need to talk about difference.

Please watch the film below for more details of the resource.