Opposition Day — [3rd Allotted Day]
Anne McGuire (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Disabled People), Department for Work and Pensions; Stirling, Labour)
I think that that is why some of the issues are difficult to discuss in a forum such as this. Children or young people may want to express their ambitions in a way that conflicts with their parents' understandable worries about whether they are capable of living independently. I know of many parents who are deeply concerned when a learning-disabled child says, "I want to move into a flat of my own." Mum and Dad may not think that that is achievable, but if the right support systems are there it can be done in a way that will not cause the young person any difficulties.
When I was having meetings on the United Nations convention on the rights of disabled people, I was impressed by two young people aged 18 and 19 who told me of their deep concern about the fact that for many years other people had spoken for them. They wanted to speak for themselves, and they had a powerful message to convey. They were fed up with doctors, nurses and parents speaking for them; like all teenagers, they did not want their parents to speak for them. There are complex issues, and I am grateful to my hon. Friend for pointing that out.