is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and
difficulty with everyday activities - for example household tasks,
socialising or managing money - which affects someone for their
People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn
and may need support to develop new skills, understand complex
information and interact with other people.
The level of support someone needs depends on individual
factors, including the severity of their learning disability. For
example, someone with a mild learning disability may only need
support with things like getting a job. However, someone with a
severe or profound learning disability may need full-time care and
support with every aspect of their life - they may also have
People with certain specific conditions can have a learning
disability too. For example, people with Down's syndrome and some
people with autism have a learning disability.
Learning disability is often confused with dyslexia and mental
health problems. Mencap describes dyslexia as a "learning
difficulty" because, unlike learning disability, it does not affect
intellect. Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time and
may be overcome with treatment, which is not true of learning
It's important to remember that with the right support, most
people with a learning disability in the UK can lead independent
lives. - Mencap 2016
Definition: What is a learning disability?
It is important to note that the term 'learning disability' is
just a label and people with learning disabilities should be
treated as people first. Learning Disability (LD) is the most
commonly used term in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and refers to an
individual who has development delay, which is usually evident from
early childhood. An individual must meet the following three
criteria for the term to apply:
- Impaired intellectual function, which includes a significantly
reduced ability to understand new or complex information and to
learn new skills.
- Impaired adaptive or social functioning, which refers to a
reduced ability to cope independently.
If you need to
attend or come into Royal Manchester Childrens Hospitals,
Outpatients or the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, please
tell a member of staff to help to place a method of
commuication to inform professionals to meet your individual needs
and to help plan your care.
They can also provide a
patient pager to help support you