Learning Disabilities Explained
A learning disability is a neurological condition that affects the brain’s ability to send, receive and process information. Some people are born with a learning disability while others develop one due to an accident or illness in childhood.
Learning disabilities can make everyday life more challenging. A person with a learning difficulty learns new information in different ways than typical people. For instance, they may take longer to become aware of risks or understand complex information.
Learning disabilities affect people to widely differing degrees. Many people with learning disabilities live alone, work and have relationships while others require greater levels of one-to-one support in many aspects of their lives.
In the UK, approximately 1.1 million people have a learning disability.
What Causes Learning Disabilities?
We do not always know why a person has a learning disability. Some learning disabilities occur before someone is born while others can happen due to trauma during birth or at any point in someone’s life.
Some of the possible causes of learning disabilities include:
- Individual differences in the brain
- Maternal illness during pregnancy
- Medical conditions
- Early childhood injury or illness, such as meningitis
- Environmental factors
There are some health conditions where you may be more likely to have a learning disability. For example, most people with Down syndrome will have some degree of learning disability.
Types Of Learning Disabilities
There are many different types of learning disabilities ranging from mild to profound or severe. A person can have one learning disability or a combination.
People with mild learning disabilities may face difficulties with everyday activities – for example, household tasks, interacting with others or managing money.
People with profound or multiple learning disabilities may require significant day-to-day support in several aspects of their lives. This can include requiring support with mobility, communication or personal care.
It is not uncommon for many people with profound or multiple learning disabilities to be involved in decisions about themselves, do things they enjoy and be independent.
What Is The Difference Between A Learning Disability And A Learning Difficulty?
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a marked difference between a learning disability and a learning difficulty.
In general, a learning disability constitutes a condition that affects the way a person learns and processes information throughout their lives. A learning difficulty is a condition that creates a specific obstacle to learning but does not affect the overall intellect of an individual.
An example of this often citied is that Down syndrome is considered a learning disability since it impacts all areas of a person’s life. Dyslexia is a learning difficulty since it only impacts a specific area of life, in this case, the ability to read and write. Outside of these specific contexts, Dyslexia does not hinder life skills.
How Does A Learning Disability Affect Someone’s Life?
No two people with a learning disability are the same. A learning disability may affect the way a person learns throughout their entire life but it does not define them.
The level of support a person needs depends on the individual. While ability varies greatly between people with learning disabilities, many will face some difficulties in understanding oor processing new or complicated information.
While a learning disability may make certain aspects of everyday life more challenging, with the right support in place people with learning disabilities can live independent and purposeful lives.
The Support We Offer For People With Learning Disabilities
At Liaise we don’t just provide specialist care and support, we empower people to live richer lives. Through our residential and supported living services, people with learning disabilities can learn, work and create lifelong friendships in a positive, structured environment.
We provide a range of diverse residential care and supported living services with unique design features and layouts. We know that people with learning disabilities often have overlapping support and health needs. This ensures every individual has access to the tailored support they need, when they need it.
In each of our community-based properties, we create a safe, happy and enriching environment for people with learning disabilities. Every week we offer a full spectrum of engaging services and activities tailored to the needs and capabilities of the people we support.
Our goal is to provide positive living services designed to enrich the lives of people with a wide range of support needs.
Learn More About Residential Care And Supported Living
We are here to support and empower people with learning disabilities to live happy, purposeful lives.
We are here to support you and your family. If you want to learn more about our learning disabilities, residential care and supported living services, do not hesitate to contact our friendly team. We look forward to hearing from you.