Starting to understand the person
People without cognitive impairment can generally be relied upon to work out the source of their distress for themselves, at least in general terms, and to communicate that. This is likely to be problematic for people with learning disability. More often than not, we cannot just ask them what their problem is and receive a coherent reply, and nor can we necessarily rely on our normal understanding of body language to help us interpret their feelings. Getting to know the person with learning disability is a long-term process, a piece of detective work. We are constantly looking for clues, putting together hypotheses, looking for evidence.