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How to support people that have learning disabilities

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How to support people that have learning disabilities

Just under 1.5 million people in the UK are diagnosed as living with a learning disability. While there are many different types of learning disabilities, they can all be characterised by a reduced intellectual condition that affects how a person processes information and therefore how they learn.

Learning Disabilities can have a minor or a major effect on a person’s life. Not only are their different effects associated with each learning disability, but also the effects of each condition can affect individuals differently, so it’s very important to consider the individual when thinking about providing support or care. It’s also important to educate yourself as a loved one or carer. Here are some key things to consider:

1. Skills that can be affected when someone has a learning disability:

a. communication (including speech, reading, and writing),
b. mathematics,
c. and organisation, to name a few.

It’s very important to remember that, just because someone has a learning disability, it’s doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent, and it’s important to encourage independence, life skills and other forms of learning to progress if and when possible.


2.There are lots of ways someone with a learning disability can be supported by those around them:

a. Lead with understanding, patience, and care

b. Educate yourself and others to understand more about the specific disability, but also the person you’re caring for

c. Tailor their support as much as possible, for example if the person you help to care for enjoy socialising, ensure they have plenty of constructive opportunities to socialise and develop their skills through positive interactions


3. While learning disabilities aren’t considered to be “mental health conditions” it’s important to be aware that many people with learning disabilities can develop mental health conditions. This is often as a result of being treated differently or poorly, not being offered beneficial and purpose-driven opportunities that they would excel at, and many other reasons that are society-based. Advocating for your loved one can be an extremely life-changing way of supporting them.


Support is available…

If you or someone you love has a learning disability and requires additional support, Paterson Health & Social Care is here to help. Whether you’re unsure of the path forward or feel confident that it’s time to bring in extra or specialised support, we’re on hand to offer advice and provide the right care for the individual.

You can also contact your local council for further information on getting support for a learning disability. They are able to provide help with utilising the help from your GP or hospital.

Get in touch with us today for friendly advice and help with your next steps.

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