chapter  Twenty Three
8 Pages

Specific and Generalised Learning Disability

WithQuentin Spender, Niki Salt, Judith Dawkins, Tony Kendrick, Peter Hill, David Hall, Jackie Carnell

Generalised learning disability is usually diagnosed when the intelligence quotient (IQ) is less than 70. This applies to approximately 2-3% of the population. Specific learning disability is usually diagnosed when there is a particular skill deficit in relation to the child's overall IQ. Parental rights are built into the laws pertaining to educational and social welfare provision. Children with all varieties of learning disability are at increased risk of developing behaviour that is challenging for their parents and teachers. Behavioural challenges can be managed by the same behavioural principles that are used for children of more average intelligence. Referral for behavioural problems that do not respond to straightforward measures is best made to a clinical psychologist, clinical nurse specialist or psychiatrist working in whatever service is responsible locally. Referral for carer relief should be made to Social Services, as should requests for further advice on welfare benefits and local support groups.