Highest level in Maslow pyramid | QCS

Dear Sheila,

What do you feel should be the highest level in the Maslow pyramid, for the aspirations of a service user with learning difficulties?


Sheila Scott
Answered by Sheila Scott

Dear Navine,

As always when I receive a question which I didn’t know the answer, QCS has an expert who does. This is the response from our Learning Disability Specialist, Ginny:

The highest level of Maslow is Self Actualisation and this applies to all people, irrespective of ability or disability. For people with learning disabilities, self actualisation can be the understanding of their place in the world, right and wrong, hopes and aspirations, self worth. I have always held that the highest goal is to be able to have choices. To enable this, the person should be assisted to communicate; to be heard and understood. To learn about self is also to understand the needs of others, so some help with this is essential.

One way to help achieve self actualisation through communication is to open up the person to alternative expression, through music or art, dance or drama. Being valued is a key part of life, by being able to be recognised as having skills and talents, this will enable the person to achieve greater self actualisation.

Best wishes.


About Sheila Scott

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector. 3. Read more

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