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People with  learning disabilities

A person with a learning disability is someone who, from childhood, has had difficulty in learning and processing information so that it significantly reduces his or her ability to carry out the full range of everyday tasks. The term ‘learning disability’ is only used in the UK .

People with a learning disability are a very diverse group with a wide range of abilities. A person with a ‘mild learning disability’ may live in their own house (or in a house shared with other people), work, and raise children. They will probably need advice and support in these tasks from time to time. By contrast, someone with a ‘severe or profound learning disability’ maybe unable to use speech, may be incontinent and physically-disabled, and need help with tasks like eating and drinking.

Learning disability is assessed by a combination of intelligence tests and measures of ‘adaptive behaviour’ (ie a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks). In the UK, the threshold for learning disability is usually set at anIQ of below 70. But people with a learning disability do not fall into a fewdiscrete groups, and their IQ scores may not reflect how well they cope withlife. Nor are their abilities fixed for ever. People with a learning disabilityare able to carry on learning new skills throughout adulthood.
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