Learning disability does not include...
Learning disabilities do not include:
  • The development of intellectual, social or adaptive impairments after the age of 18
  • Brain injury acquired after the age of 18
  • Complex medical conditions that affect intellectual and social/adaptive functioning: e.g., dementias; Huntington’s Disease
  • Specific learning difficulties e.g., dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, literacy or numeracy problems or delayed speech and language development

The term “Learning Difficulties” can be used in educational services to describe people with specific learning problems and does not indicate that a person has a learning disability as defined above, however it is important to note that these two terms are often used interchangeably to indicate that a person has a learning disability. People with a learning disability may present as having:

  • Difficulties communicating and expressing needs and choices
  • Difficulty understanding their diagnosis, treatment options or services available to them
  • Difficulty understanding the consequences their decisions can have on their health status
  • Difficulties in adapting to a hospital environment and the expectations of hospital staff