Ye olde Faculty Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability Annual Conference

Apologies for such a long, cumbersome post title. Psychiatry is one of those disciplines that seems to have an entrenched need to bolster its armoury in weighty words because it ain’t really clear what it does. Their learning disability conference… in Birmingham yesterday and today. (#idconf on twitter).

It all seemed to grind to halt on social media when the panel of Alan Rosenbach, Dominic Slowie, Gavin Harding, ‘A Roy and SMcClinton’ took to the stage this afternoon. A mild twitter fanfare. And then tumbleweed.

@psychiatryofid limped on with less enthusiastic tweeting. (“Fewer members in the audience after lunch, but some strongly-held views #idconf”).

And then bailed out.

What unpopular and controversial statements could Alan Rosenbach have possibly made?

These uncontroversial and sensible statements apparently:


I agree with these points and the sentiment underpinning Alan R’s response. And applaud him – and other panel members who may have spoken up but were twitter censored – for making them.

Though I do wonder why psychiatrists hold this power over learning disabled people (a wonder reinforced by the #idconf twitter feed).

Our experience of psychiatrists in the six months before LB died (he died???) was lamentable (no words really) and the story of Lisa (detailed in the 3 Lives Report) continues to send chills down my spine.

I’m left wondering what ‘ID psychiatry’ does, apart from  things like measuring digit span and concluding “understanding behavioural phenotypes has huge clinical and social implications.”

Maybe there needs to be a bit more of a radical rethink about ‘who is responsible for whom’. And what this actually means in practice.

2 thoughts on “Ye olde Faculty Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability Annual Conference

  1. Thanks for the reference to Lisa – how cruel and Victorian! I didn’t know about the 3 Lives report and have downloaded it. I have had reservations about the Challenging Behaviour Foundation – do you think it is needed/successful?

  2. I agree with you – although as to what they do? From what I can see, very little for people with learning difficulties themselves. Unless that person happens to need a another label, or drugs or locking up. Given that most psychiatrists only meet people with learning difficulties in a clinical or institutional setting, the amount of power that they are able to wield over the lives of people they don’t really know or understand is obscene.

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