Introduction to Learning Difficulties
It has been estimated that 985,000 people in England have learning difficulties.
Residential care for adults with learning disabilities
It has been estimated that 985,000 people in England have a learning disability, which is a prevalence rate of 2% of the general population (Eric Emerson and Chris Hatton, Lancaster University 2004, reported by Mencap).
A learning disability is diagnosed if three criteria have been met. These are:
- Intellectual impairment (IQ)
- Social or adaptive dysfunction combined with IQ
- Early onset
The terms learning difficulties and learning disabilities are interchangeable in the UK and often abbreviated to LD. At The Richardson Partnership for Care, we tend to use the term learning difficulties because we prefer not to ‘label’ service users with a disability. Our focus is on the individual’s skills and abilities, rather than any label that they have been given. We use both terms on this website as they are in general usage in the UK.
Learning difficulties are often the result of a genetic condition, and these may include Cri du chat syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome and Autism spectrum disorders. Although the conditions vary considerably, the behaviours exhibited by people with learning difficulties can be quite similar, for example; hyperactivity, aggression, concentration difficulties, repetitive movements, anxiety and communication problems.