More struggles over adulthood, rights and capacity… though I’m really trying. Honestly.
LB was due to go to the farm yesterday. Taken straight from the unit, bypassing school, to work with Sue and his classmates. When he was told to get ready, he didn’t look keen so he was asked if he wanted to go. “No, maybe” was the answer. There followed a hilarious conversation where he was asked various questions about whether he liked the farm and what he wanted to do, with a lot of “no, maybe” answers. It was finally established that he didn’t want to go to the farm and would prefer to go for a second choice; a drive and a long walk. His teacher was called and she asked to speak to him
(love her). He didn’t budge. He later made it clear he didn’t want to do the drive/walk option either and stayed in his room. Whose idea was it to give this dude choices???
I’ve heard a lot of stories like this to do with learning disabled people making choices (usually from parents). It’s a tough one. I know, I KNOW, I KNOW that people should be able to make decisions about what they want to do. But LB will always choose to stay in his room
hanging out “self occcupying” if he’s given that choice.
I think my struggle is around two overlapping things;
- LB isn’t making a decision in a vacuum; the choices offered, the way in which they’re presented in terms of the language used and the way it’s structured, the relationship between LB and the choice offerer, the implications of the decision made for that person, LB (and others) all feed into a complex set of interactions that can mean that the choice isn’t really a choice at all.
- There is a constraining kind of meta-level control always present which means that, ultimately, LB can only really decide what he’s allowed to decide. If he makes a decision that isn’t perceived to be in his best interests, the
swatmental capacity team come in and stop him from making that decision.
So it’s a heavily managed and mediated, complex, uneven ‘choice’ space. I don’t know what the answer is really.
And I can’t see him ever emptying the dishwasher again.