Our workshop at Rumbletums last week provided us with some ideas about what confidence means to adults with learning disabilities. 
Being happy

Walking big

Using hands to communicate

Body language

Smiling

Having friends

Feeling important

Looking at people

Not worrying if you have been called names or people have been nasty

Letting go

Forgetting about things 

Trying things out

Not giving up
These were comments made from the trainees whom we had the pleasure of working with.

They were brave enough to speak about past experiences and how this had affected them and then we spoke about letting go. 
Our day was jam packed with non stop practical activities to raise self esteem and belief in ones abilities. We danced,  we shouted, we team built and we let go of the things that had hurt us in the past. We made plans for the future. 

It was a day of looking back and a day of hope. Hope for the future. 
People with learning disabilities are labelled all through life and assumptions made instantly on their abilities. If they are not given opportunities to try out new things, make mistakes, learn from them then how will they ever know what they are truly capable of. 

Every single trainee was nervous at first to try out a new task/challenge but with a little support and encouragement they were able to realise for themselves that by giving things a go they learn, they grow, but most of all they experience. 

From experience they are able to learn and if this experience is not available to them then how can they possibly show what their true talents/capabilities are? How often does society restrict the experiences which adults with learning disabilities can have? That’s another question perhaps for another blog another time. 

Just like in our confidence building day learners were encouraged to join in with the challenges and not be afraid to make mistakes or be judged, I will take my own advice and post this blog, maybe learning from it, maybe making mistakes, maybe taking a risk with some of the things being said and maybe being judged. Being confident is letting go of fear just as we did with the trainees letting go of their balloons, their fears, the past, being corageous, then I also will be brave and post this blog. I hope you enjoy reading this blog, if you enjoyed this please do read our other ones too, like us on Facebook and Twitter and connect with me on linked in. 

If you are an organisation working with adults with learning disabilities or other difficulties and are interested in Open Wings running a workshop for your organisation please do get in touch. 

Anna Rossi

Open Wings

Director​

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