Learning disabilities


A learning disability is a life-long condition caused by something impacting the brain’s development before, during or shortly after birth.

This means that learning new skills and carrying out everyday tasks can be more difficult.

Learning disabilities are often described as mild, moderate, severe or profound. Someone with a mild learning disability might live independently and need occasional help with things like organising their bills. People with a severe or profound learning disability may need round-the-clock support from one or more people, with everything from personal hygiene to eating well.

There are many different kinds of learning disability; you can find out more about some of them below.

  • Asperger syndrome

    Asperger syndrome is a lifelong autism spectrum disorder, meaning it affects people differently, and to differing degrees.
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  • Cerebral palsy

    Cerebral palsy is a lifelong physical condition that affects movement, posture and co-ordination. It is usually diagnosed at birth or in early childhood.
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  • Fragile X syndrome

    Fragile X syndrome is known for being the most commonly inherited cause of learning disability.
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  • Autism

    Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder is how we describe a number of conditions that can affect how a person experiences and perceives the world around them.
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  • Down's Syndrome

    Down’s Syndrome (sometimes called trisomy 21) is a genetic condition that is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a person’s cells.
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  • Williams syndrome

    Williams syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the loss of a small number of genes on chromosome 7 during conception.
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  • Prader-Willi syndrome

    Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic condition usually caused by a chance defect to chromosome 15 at the point of conception.
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  • Angelman syndrome

    Angelman syndrome is genetic condition that, in most cases, is caused by a faulty or absent gene - UBE3A – and occurs at the point of conception.
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  • Rett syndrome

    Rett syndrome is a rare disorder caused by a DNA change in the MECP2 gene which is found on the X chromosome.
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  • Challenging behaviour

    Embracing a Positive Behavioural Support philosophy leads to a reduction in levels of behaviour that challenges, and an increase in people’s quality of life
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  • Complex needs

    People with learning disabilities will sometimes have multiple conditions that co-exist, overlap and interlock to create a complex profile.
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