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Family Guide to Learning Disabilites

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Family Guide to Learning Disabilites
Around 1.5 million people living in the UK are thought to have a learning disability which can make it difficult for them to understand information and can affect their communication. There are 350,000 people who have a severe learning disabilities and that figure is increasing. A learning disability is where an individual has limited intellectual ability and will find it difficult to achieve everyday tasks and activities.

What causes a learning disability is not well understood and still unknown. Unfortunately sometimes there are no obvious reasons why someone is born with a learning disability. However there are several factors that can affect neurological development, these include; genetics, learning disabilities run in families and are more likely to occur when genes are passed on from parents, problems during pregnancy such as the mother falling ill and problems in birth where the baby does not get enough oxygen and lastly incidents after birth such as head injuries, malnutrition or meningitis.

Common indicators that a learning disability may be present will usually persist over a long period of time with there being no display of progression and will often have several related signs. The signs of learning disabilities will differ between each person, but they may include some of the following, problems paying attention, problems reading and writing, difficulty remembering certain things and staying organised, speaking in an immature way, difficulty listening and dealing with new things in life, trouble with staying organised and issues with the concept of time. All of these signs can be monitored but they are not enough to determine if there is a learning disability present. The individual will have to undergo an assessment by a professional before a diagnosis is made.

Living with a Learning Disability

Diagnosing a learning disability is rather difficult. Some learning disabilities are discovered and diagnosed at birth but others are sometimes not found or diagnosed until much later on in life. Even later in life when symptoms may be persistent and seem very clear it is always important to have the child observed, tested and evaluated by a qualified specialist to make sure the correct results are found. A professional will look at different things and ways a child reacts, experts will look for noticeable differences between how well a child does in their school life and how well the child could do, given the intelligence or ability levels. From test results and the individual being monitored over a period of time a diagnosis will be concluded.

Being informed a child or family member has a learning disability can come as quite a surprise and maybe a shock. But there are several options for support. Of course it will take time to come to terms with the diagnosis but there are healthcare teams, organisations and support groups, family and friends to help through the hard times. Support groups and support from family and friends can be extremely helpful, for example telling others of the child's diagnosis may be awfully scary, frustrating and daunting, having the help and the backing can help deal with this immensely.

Treatment will be the next step after diagnosis and the most common treatment method for learning disabilities is special education. Treatment may also include other professionals such as speech and language therapists and psychologists who may bring psychological therapies. It has been found that some medications may be effective in helping the child learn by enhancing attention and concentration but this will be at the discretion of the GP. Different and specialised strategies for coping with learning disabilities will be given to the carer and it is important to get help earlier to increase success in school and later in life. If learning disabilities remain untreated, a child may begin to feel frustrated with schoolwork, relationships and life after school, which can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and other problems.

Practical Aids

Having a learning disability may affect a person's life and can make routine tasks challenging. For that reason, people with learning disabilities could potentially benefit from a range of different care products in our shop area. Listed below are examples of products that can help with a learning disability.

Household Aids

A great range of household items that will really help aid an individual through daily activities such as personal alarm, talking clocks, leisure and hobbies and night lights.

Paediatric Care

Children with learning disabilities can benefit from the great products in the paediatric care section of our shop, products include; emotional development aids, pen grippers, play and development and activity tables.

Personal Care

There is a huge variety of personal care items that can help an individual on a daily basis.

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