What are learning disabilities?
Children and young people with learning disabilities (intellectual disabilities) are at risk of developing mental health and/or behavioural problems which impact on them and their family. This is for several reasons including the underlying cause of their learning disability being a risk factor, psychological factors, and social factors.
It is important that this group of children, young people and their families access the right support in a timely manner. This includes assessment from professionals who understand learning disability, appropriate interventions/treatments, family support and appropriate education. The support required might involve many professionals and services who all need to work together to best meet the needs of the child and their family.
Behavioural interventions are generally the first line of intervention but, sometimes, medication to treat specific disorders might be considered by professionals with expertise in working with children and young people with learning disabilities.
Children and young people with learning disabilities are vulnerable and it is very important that they can access the mental health care they require if indicated.
Written by Dr Sarah Bernard