A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. This means they can have difficulty:
- understanding new or complex information
- learning new skills
- coping independently
A learning disability can be mild, moderate or severe. Some people with a mild learning disability can talk easily and look after themselves, but take a bit longer than usual to learn new skills. Others may not be able to communicate at all and have more than one disability.
A learning disability is not the same as a learning difficulty or mental illness. Some children with learning disabilities grow up to be quite independent, while others need help with everyday tasks, such as washing or getting dressed, for their whole lives. It depends on their abilities.
Children and young people with a learning disability may also have special educational needs. Some learning disabilities are diagnosed at birth, such as Down's syndrome. Others might not be discovered until the child is old enough to talk or walk.
If you require any specific information about learning disabilities, look in