Learning disabilities Neurodevelopmental (Healthcare)

The Priory is a specialist provider of services to adults who have a learning disability and additional pathway needs, such as a mental health illness and/or behaviours that challenge. The term learning disabilities is an umbrella term for a range of specific conditions.

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability occurs when the brain is still developing (before, during, or soon after birth) which affects the brain’s ability to receive and process information.

This can make it problematic for the individual to learn as quickly, or in the same way as someone who is not affected. The individual may experience difficulties performing specific types of skills or completing tasks. They may struggle to communicate and build relationships, keep themselves safe or plan for the future.

Symptoms of a learning disability will differ from person to person, although specific learning disabilities may present with a particular set of characteristics and problems.

Categorisation of learning disabilities

An IQ score alone is not sufficient in completely defining the level of learning disability. This is because the IQ levels vary due to development and growth, and will not account for what sort of life a person with a learning disability leads. Nonetheless,  learning disabilities can be categorised into four very basic groups – mild, moderate, severe and profound. Intellectual impairment based on IQ scores is one way to categorise a learning disability:

  • 50-70 – Mild
  • 35-50 – Moderate
  • 20-35 – Severe
  • less than 20 – Profound

Care and management of individuals with learning disabilities

Many people with learning disabilities access generic healthcare services whilst living in the community. Specialist healthcare input may be required to support people with a dual diagnosis or with other associated difficulties, such as behaviours that challenge , borderline personality disorder, Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and Asperger’s Syndrome. Some people with learning disabilities will need therapeutic intervention to address criminal activity, such as arson or sexual offending.

Learning disability support at The Priory

The Priory provides care and treatments where every person is empowered and supported through a collaborative and person centred pathway. This pathway allows staff to manage risk, recognise individuality and promote choice and positive risk taking in line with our "can do safely" approach. Treatment may include psycho-social interventions from a trained multi-disciplinary team including nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and other relevant professionals, and may if agreed, include medication to help manage some of the challenging behaviours or dual diagnoses.

By encouraging individuals to take control and have belief in their potential, we create pathways that support individuals in their transition to more independent living and provide care with dignity and respect. Our services include a range of hospitals and extensive community based homes which focus on providing just the right level of care required. This includes continuously working in conjunction with families and other support teams to maximise the potential of each individual.

For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding Learning disabilities Neurodevelopmental (Healthcare), please call 0800 840 3219. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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