Some people might imagine that people with learning disabilities are destined to live very limited lives, but there is plenty of evidence out there that this is not the case.
In some instances, this can even come by surprise, when someone who has enjoyed considerable success in life is suddenly diagnosed with significant learning disabilities they never knew they had.
This is just what has happened to Rob McElhenney, the Hollywood actor famous for his role in Always Sunny in Philadelphia and co-ownership of Wrexham Football Club with Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds.
Going public with his diagnosis, McElhenney said: “I was recently diagnosed with a host of neurodevelopmental disorders and learning disabilities! At 46!”
He said this was not the sort of thing he would normally tell the world about, but he wanted to encourage others with learning disabilities.
“I wanted to remind you that you’re not alone. You’re not stupid. You’re not ‘bad’. It might feel that way sometimes. But it’s not true,” he remarked.
This may come as great encouragement to many people with a similar condition and their families to discover what making the most of an Adult learning disability skills hub in High Wycombe could help achieve.
Some might argue that McElhenney is an exceptional case, and of course, It’s true that very few people, with or without any learning disabilities, become famous actors. However, there are many other success stories in everyday life to point to as well.
For instance, the Lancashire Post has highlighted the success of eight students with learning disabilities or autism who have just completed internships with housing association Progress Housing Group, assisted by Runshaw College. The eight also completed Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze awards.
While two of them will stay with the group in full-time roles, one has secured a BBC apprenticeship and the others will work for South Ribble Council’s Leisure Services Department.
Champion of Supported Interns at Runshaw College Will Sutton said: “All eight of this year’s cohort have gone above and beyond to make themselves and their families proud.”