Learning disability cannot be cured, but with appropriate
supports individuals can go on to lead independent and fulfilling
lives. Support may comprise practical aids and equipment to learn
new skills or help from family, friends, teachers and volunteers to
manage daily life activities. See the "Is there support?" section
for organisations that offer support and information. These
organisations may run local support groups for people with learning
disability and their families. Some individuals with learning
disability go on to live in assisted accommodation.
People affected by learning disability are at higher risk of
developing mental health problems, such as depression (see entry Depression in
Children and Young People) and less often schizophrenia.
Assessment and treatment should be offered as necessary. The risks
of these conditions developing can be minimised by providing the
right psychological, educational and social supports early on.
Children with learning disability may require a statement of
special education needs to get extra support in school. This is
possible within mainstream schools, though some children benefit
from learning in a special school. In almost all instances the
child can attend school on a daily basis rather than having to
Families with a child who has learning disability may be
entitled to supports including financial assistance and help from
social services - see our advice and support section. Parents
will often wish to establish their legal rights as guardians for
their children with learning disability once they have grown up,
for example through a lasting power of attorney arrangement.