Friend with a learning disability — Scope | Disability forum
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Friend with a learning disability

montoya Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited October 2021 in Autism and neurodiversity
Hi, I have a friend with a learning disability - we used to work together for a few years when he had a supported placement at my former job. He lives in a care home but is reasonably independent. I am not sure what exact learning disability he has but it includes slurred speech and difficulty retaining information. He is a lovely guy and I try to stay in touch with him although I have since moved away.

A couple of months ago I met up with him for lunch after not having seen him for a while. Subsequently he has been calling me frequently for a chat. While I'm happy to hear from him, sometimes this can be two or three times a week which is a little much and sometimes he is calling when I'm at work and even though I have said weekend is best I don't think it sinks in. I am meeting him for lunch again this week and not sure how to broach the subject with him - I don't want to put him off staying in touch but think it might be best to set out boundaries although I don't know if he will retain this. Any advice welcome. Thanks.


  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @montoya, that sounds like a tricky situation to be in and you've definitely done the right thing by reaching out and asking for help: I'm sure your friend feels very lucky to have a supportive friend like you.

    Does anybody has any advice they can offer?

    If not, it might be a good idea to see if Mencap can offer more specialist advice. You might also like to have a look through previous discussions in our learning difficulties category, to see if there are any hints or tips you can pick up there. I hope this helps and let us know how you get on! 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @montoya I understand this situation and I know it is hard and not easy.  He sounds he is like a lot of us a lonely man and finds it differcult to fit in.  I have this all the time.  What I had to do and what people have done this to me.  Because I did the same thing many times when a friend is working.  Trying to explain but if write it down have a meeting and discuss this.  I totally understood but I know it is sometimes cruel to be kind.  No one wants to tell you what to do and hate being critical of anybodys friendship.  I hope you can get it sorted and any of this helps. 
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  • montoya
    montoya Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks spiceman. Yeah I had a chat with him and said calling during the week is not ideal due to work etc. Said I would call him rather than him me. Will see how it goes.
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,872 Connected
    Is he at college or not? Hugs. It might be a good idea to find him some type of unpaid work part time at a charity shop or something that can essentially keep him busy. Or recommend he takes up a hobby or goes back to education. There are courses that cater for people who have learning disabilities. What are his skills and abilities? Can he cook a simple dinner or lunch? Does he have computer skills? Is he good with numbers? Does he love art? 

    This is not healthy. He has too much time on his hands. There are schemes that basically help disabled people into paid or voluntary work. Look around the website- there might also be some useful resources regarding employment opportunities and careers. Also investigate online. 


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