Across the world, many people live with an autistic spectrum condition and as a result have a learning disability to deal with. Their daily lives gets affected in several ways. 1 in 1,000 people live with Down’s syndromewhich comes with learning difficulties. So, there could be many reasons behind the learning disability of a person. A learning disability happens when a person’s brain development is affected, either before they’re born, during their birth or in early childhood.
A learning disability affects the way a person process information and the way they communicate. They usually face difficulty in:
- understanding new or complex information
- learning new skills
- coping independently
Parents or carers of people with learning disabilities feel stressed, especially as a child grows into a young adult. The child develop at a slower rate than others, and need extra health check-ups. A learning disability is always unique to the person, and in every case the carer or the family member should concentrate on the person’s gifts and strengths rather than pointing out to the disability factor. A trained carer can help the person with a learning disability to overcome the condition and live independently to a great extent.
People with multiple learning disability (one or many medical conditions) may have severe difficulties in seeing, hearing, speaking and moving. Such people will need help in most areas of everyday life, such as eating, washing and going to the toilet. However, with a balanced care and a thoguhful guidance, many people can learn to communicate in their own ways, be able to make decisions, develop hobbies which gives them a sense of fulfilment and achieve more independence.
People with autism often find their surroundings hostile. It’s important to communicate clearly to an autistic person as they tend to misinterpret what is said most of the times. Similarly, a person with Down’s syndrome will require extra support with language with a slow and clear speech. Dyslexia is also another common learning difficulty that causes problems with reading, writing and spelling. But, unlike other cases, intelligence doesn’t get affected for a person with dyslexia. There are many speech therapy classes which will teach the person with the disability to read, speak and write using some unique techniques. It is a slow and gradual improvement process where the family members and friends need to show thier love and patience to the person during the process.
Right kind of analysis and support from doctors/paediatricians, speech therapists, educational psychologists along with care and love from the family members and society helps people with learning disability to overcome the problems and enjoy an independent life as much as possible.