What are learning disabilities?
People with autism can have different ‘degrees’ of learning disability, which can affect all aspects of their life, from studying in school to learning how to wash themselves or make a meal. Some people will be able to live fairly independently – although they may need a degree of support to achieve this – while others may require lifelong, specialist support.
People with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome do not usually have accompanying learning disabilities, but may still have specific learning difficulties – such as dyslexia – or other related conditions such as ADHD or epilepsy.
If someone has a learning difficulty (as opposed to a learning disability), this means that they have difficulties in a specific area, for example someone with dyslexia will have difficulties recognising words, reading or writing.
As with autism, people can have different ‘degrees’ of learning disability. However, all people with autism can, and do, learn and develop with the right sort of support.
Where can I get more information?
Mencap campaigns for equal rights for children and adults with a learning disability and can offer information via its helplines.
British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD)
BILD works to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities across the UK.
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities supports people with learning disabilities and their families and works to improve services.