While some parents may be told their child has a specific condition, others may only be told their child has a developmental delay, or in some cases they may never receive a diagnosis at all.
There are different types of learning disability, which can be mild, moderate or severe. In all cases a learning disability is lifelong.
Someone with a learning disability may have difficulty in understanding or using written or spoken language, and may need support to do some everyday things. It can be difficult to diagnose a mild learning disability as the individual will often mix well with others and will be able to cope with some of the tasks presented to them. However, they may need support in other areas of their life such as shopping or filling out forms.
Our son was three months old before I knew he was not as responsive as his two sisters had been. The health visitor assured me not to worry, but by six months I expressed my concerns to my GP. Deep down I knew there was something wrong with my baby.
For those with a moderate learning disability or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), more care and support is required to help with areas such as mobility, personal care and communication.
For any parent, the greatest concern will be your child's wellbeing and their future. As a parent, you can help your child by encouraging their strengths and getting the right support to help them overcome the things they find difficult. Every child is an individual with their own specific needs, but with the right support children with a learning disability can succeed in school and in life.
- Find out more about learning disability and its causes and conditions
- Read the Mencap guide ‘Telling other people about your child's learning disability'