Learning Disabilities - About
A learning disability is not the same as a learning difficulty (eg dyslexia) or a mental illness (eg depression or an emotional behavioural disorder).
A learning disability is a lifelong condition which affects the way a person learns new things in any area of life, not just at school. It affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate.
Enhanced Care is dedicated to providing the highest level of expertise to support and improve life chances for young people and children with learning disabilities in Durham
Around 1.5m people in the UK are learning disabled. This means they can have difficulty:
- understanding new or complex information
- learning new skills
- coping independently
A learning disability can be mild, moderate or severe. Some people with a mild learning disability can talk easily and look after themselves, but take a bit longer than usual to learn new skills. Others may not be able to communicate at all and have more than one disability (Profound and multiple learning disability)
Some children with learning disabilities grow up to be independent and need occasional support, while others need help with everyday tasks, such as washing or getting dressed, for their whole lives. It depends on their abilities.
Children and young people with a learning disability are often diagnosed as having special educational needs.
Some conditions are associated with having a learning disability. This is because people with these conditions are more likely to have one. Everyone with Down's syndrome, for example, has some kind of learning disability, and so do many people with cerebral palsy. People with autism may also have learning disabilities, and around 30% of people with a learning disability have epilepsy.