What is a learning disability?
What is a Learning disability?
A learning disability can affect the way a person understands information and how they communicate. This means they can have ongoing difficulties with;
- understanding new or complex information
- learning new skills
- coping independently
A learning disability happens when a person's brain development is affected, either before they are born, during their birth or in early childhood.
This can be caused by things such as:
- The mother becoming ill in pregnancy
- problems during the birth that stop enough oxygen getting to the brain
- the unborn baby inheriting certain genes from its parents that make having a learning disability more likely – known as inherited learning disability
- illness, such as meningitis, or injury in early childhood
Sometimes there is no known cause for a learning disability.
Many people with Learning disabilities also have sensory and/or physical impairments; they can also have Autism, but not those who have a higher level autistic spectrum disorder who may be of average or even above average intelligence – such as some people with Asperger’s Syndrome.
A Learning disability does not include all those who have a “learning difficulty” which is more broadly defined in education legislation.
A person with some form of learning disability will know that everyday activities like work, education and jobs around the house can be a challenge. The person may experience prejudice from other people who don't understand about learning disabilities, or feel lonely because they don't have anyone to talk to.