Every year Learning disability week is celebrated and this year it is being celebrated 19th -25th June
This week highlights what it can be like to live with a learning disability, but also bust some myths about learning disabilities, so before trying our fun quiz, have a think about learning disabilities, what do you know already?
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and struggles with everyday activities – which could include, household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life.
People with a learning disability may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people, as they tend to take longer to learn.
Learning disabilities are not always visible and with the right support most people with a learning disability can lead independent lives.
Learning disabilities can affect life skills as well as academic skills, such as staying organised, time management, reading maps and clocks.
Just because you have a learning disability doesn’t mean you can’t do well at school or work.
What causes a learning disability?
- Some causes of learning disabilities could be when the brain is still developing before birth or in early childhood.
- Different chromosomes – for example, Down’s syndrome or Turner syndrome
- Exposure to environmental toxins or infections and illness during pregnancy
- A very premature birth
- Complications during birth, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain
- Illness – for example, meningitis or measles; or injury or trauma to the brain in early childhood
- Sometimes the cause of a learning disability remains unknown.
Facts Related to Learning disabilities
In relation to work the highest proportion of adults with learning disabilities in paid employment is in London which is 7%, the South East is 6.9%.
According to Mencap 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability, out of those 351,000 of them are children aged 0-17 years.
Over 50% of people with learning disabilities reported feeling lonely.
Loneliness is associated with poorer health inequalities.
Having quality friendships can improve feelings of loneliness, which in turn can increase better physical health outcomes.
There are key times in life where the right support, from the right services, can help people who have a learning disability and their families to remain well, independent and reside as valued members in their communities.
- pregnancy and babyhood
- becoming an adult
- family support changing (such as carers aging or dying)
- staying well
- growing older
Written by Elin Evans School Nurse