Learning disabilities
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Learning disabilities


What 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 whole life.

People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people. 

The level of support someone needs depends on the individual. 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 physical disabilities.

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. 
 
* The above definition is taken from Mencap

Different types of learning disability
A learning disability can classified as being 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. In all cases, a learning disability is lifelong.

What can cause a learning disability?
A learning disability happens when a person's brain development is affected, either before they are born, during their birth or in early childhood.

Several factors can affect brain development, including: 
  • the mother becoming ill in pregnancy 
  • problems during the birth that stop enough oxygen getting to the brain
  • the unborn baby developing certain genes
  • the parents passing certain genes to the unborn baby that make having a learning disability more likely (known as inherited learning disability) 
  • illness, such as meningitis, or injury in early childhood
Sometimes there is no known cause for a learning disability.

How can we help you?
We provide learning disability services that could help you in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington. We also provide inpatient care for people with learning disabilities in Warrington.
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