If you have Moderate learning difficulties/disabilities, this means it takes you considerably longer than your peers to learn new concepts or understand complex information. It means you experience delay and problems across a wide range of areas and with learning and memory, such as problems learning practical skills, problems being independent and managing self-care without help, or developing social skills. You are likely to have low self-esteem. You are likely to have issues processing the information you are told. You may have difficulties with coordination due to problems with fine and gross motor skills. You have problems with intellect/IQ. That said, you are still very capable with many strengths and, like everyone, some weaknesses that need support. You can still be very talented in some areas and you can still achieve.
If you do not have a diagnosis beyond Moderate Learning Difficulties, it can be useful to try to get a diagnosis that will help explain your condition and potential areas for strengths and weaknesses, although everyone is different. If you have a diagnosis, you will find it easier to access relevant help and support. You can learn more about your condition from relevant charities, join support groups and are more likely to find it easier getting support such as a place in supported living.
In life, in order to develop independence, you may find it useful to access EASY READ information, much of which can be found on this website. You may find sites like Easy Health and A Picture of Health help you understand health issues easier that are relevant to you. You also qualify for an Annual Health Check from your doctor. On this site, you will find information to help you with tasks, like booking a doctor’s appointment. You should consider joining the Learning Disability Register to get extra help with your health, like the annual check and Easy Read materials
You may find it easier to know and understand the news if you watch First News LIVE or read Easy News. To see important global issues that may affect your life or others you care for, so you can develop understanding and opinions.
You may find the Trading Standards Resourceshelp you understand consumer affair issues easier, so you can be more independent and keep safe, covering safety, scams, shopping rights, crime, hygiene, food, money and more. You will find lots of resources for keeping safe online, out and about, help with relationships.
You may find Easy Read politics and law resources found on this site help you understand issues, like Voting and Laws. If you want to cook more, you will find lots of resources here on this site, like visual recipes to follow or watch. You will find lots of resources for diet and healthy eating.
You may qualify for Disability Benefits, like Personal Independence Payments, to pay you money to help with extra costs due to your disability, like support. You can find this information on this site.
If you want to live independently, you should ask your Council for a Social Care Assessment to see if you qualify for support like, support workers. You may like to consider Supported Living where you will get support workers as needed to help you with daily living tasks, like cooking and paying bills. You may like to consider Shared Lives, a scheme where you move in, live and get support from a family. There is a lot of information about topics, like housing and benefits on this website.
If you are looking at your Education, you will find resources on understanding support, like, if you choose to go to college and you are under 25 years of age, you may be able to get an EHCP Plan to help you get extra support and funding to stay in education.
There are lots of resources on this site to help with Maths, English and even understanding banking to reading the time and timetables.
You may benefit from asking your GP for an Occupational Therapy Assessment to help you develop practical strategies to be more independent and develop life skills and organisational skills 1:1 with an Occupational Therapist. To help develop personal practical skills in the home, like to learn to cook, or in the community. They can help with breaking tasks down, providing visual strategies, helping with goal-setting, help finding adaptions. You may benefit from Physiotherapyto help with gross and fine motor skills, movement, muscle tone problems, joint issues. You may like to explore counselling or CBT to help you with your emotions. You may find that Music Therapy, Dance, Art or Drama helps you with stress, expressing yourself, self-esteem, social skills and staying active. On this site, you will find lots of links for social clubs and sport. There are links to help you get active that are easy read.
You will find this website has a section on Holidays and that this includes links to supported holidays so that you can get help, like, from support workers if needed and structured support. You can also choose to go away with others.
You may like to use other websites in addition to this website, like Mencap, the Charity for people with Learning Disabilities that has lots of Easy Read resources and support. The Choice Forumis an online support group for people with learning disabilities, their friends and family to talk about issues important to them and get support and advice.
There is a lot of support to help you in work. You can claim Access to Work Funding to help pay for help if you need it, like from a Job Coach,or support worker to help you at work or at least help you get used to work. They can help you break down and understand your job. There are Supported Employment Providers that help provide structured jobs and support doing work with Support Workers. You can learn more on this site. There is also information on this site to help you get experience to make you more work ready through volunteering and help understanding topics, like CV’s and finding work. You could get support from us at Independent and Work Ready or from other organisations, like Mencap who have a employment scheme, as do Work Fit (aimed at those with Down's Syndrome).
The main UK learning disability charity supporting those with learning disability and their family and friends is Mencap and includes lots of Easy Read materials for adult life. http://www.mencap.org.uk/
In this Mencap YouTube video, people with learning disabilities explain what they think this means to them.
Types of Learning Disability include:
Down's Syndrome: a chromosome disorder in the genes you are born with affecting Chromosome 21 and causing developmental delay, physical growth delays, problems with gross and fine motor skills, characteristic facial appearance and generally learning disability. It can also cause further health problems, like to the heart, hearing difficulties, vision problems, gut issues with digestion, increased risk of infections. and thyroid issues, for example. There is a lot of support from the Down's Syndrome Association. https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/
Williams Syndromeis a rare genetic condition also causing a distinctive appearance, very friendly personality and high level of anxiety, as well as varied degrees of learning disabilities, mild to moderate. Also, other health issues, like heart and blood vessel problems, there is a lot of support from the Williams Syndrome Association. http://williams-syndrome.org/what-is-williams-syndrome
Fragile X is a genetic condition and causing intellectual disability, mild to moderate, behaviour issues, connected at times to Autism Spectrum conditions and slight appearance features and can cause some physical issues, like with joints and flat feet. Can have issues with hearing and vision. There is a lot of support from the Fragile X Society. http://www.fragilex.org.uk/
Fragile X YouTube channel. https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCN4rLHZk34OSqhWoinHAoig
Parda Willi Syndrome is a rare genetic condition caused by problems with Chromosome 15, causing a learning disability, a constant feeling of being hungry and never full, problems with obesity, a short height. There is a lot of information from the UK Prada Willi Association, including lots of information for adulthood. https://www.pwsa.co.uk/
Autism causes a learning disability of varied degrees in about 50% of cases. Mencap, the learning disability charity provide information here. https://www.mencap.org.uk/learning-disability-explained/conditions/autism-and-aspergers-syndrome.
Also check out the Autism section and the National Autism Association. https://www.autism.org.uk/
SWAN Undiagnosed, for those without a diagnosis, despite, for example, learning disability. https://www.undiagnosed.org.uk/support_information/what-does-swan-or-being-undiagnosed-mean/