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Learning Disabilities & Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Under Review — this page was due to be reviewed by Sunday, 14 January 2024. The information shown here may be outdated.

For resources covering consultations, annual health checks, preparing for hospital visits, reporting a death, and current campaigns and sources of easy-read materials, visit the Learning Disabilities & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD) Resources section (see Resources).

What is a learning disability?

According to Valuing people: A new strategy for learning disability for the 21st century, the government White Paper for England about health and social care support for people with a learning disability (2001), an individual who has a learning disability has the presence of:

  • a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information or to learn new skills
  • a reduced ability to cope independently
  • an impairment that started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development.

This means that the person will find it harder to understand, learn and remember new things, and means that the person may have problems with a range of things such as communication, being aware of risks or managing everyday tasks.

What is a learning difficulty?

A learning difficulty is not a learning disability. People with learning difficulties can be supported by the Special Educational Needs (SEN) system. 

Learning difficulties include:

  • dyslexia
  • dyspraxia
  • difficulties arising from brain injury occurred later in life
  • ADHD
  • dementia.

Area specific guidance for Camden

Here is a selection of useful information for GPs and carers of those with learning disabilities:

Area specific guidance for Barnet

BUDDS Down Syndrome pathway

COVID-19 resources

Say No to Abuse

My Health Matters

In Barnet, a new Health Action Plan called My Health Matters has been developed. My Health Matters folders are given out to everyone with a learning disability in Barnet. Service users, carers and families can contact the service via the duty desk to arrange training by phoning t: 020 8359 6161.

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Review date: Sunday, 14 January 2024