understanding the context of supporting people with learning disabilities NVQ level 2

Topics: Educational psychology, Disability, Learning disability Pages: 5 (1579 words) Published: November 19, 2013
Understanding The Context Of Supporting People With Learning Disabilities Assignment

A learning disability means that the person who is diagnosed with one will find it difficult with certain areas of their learning and development. A child with a general learning disability finds it more difficult to learn, understand and do things compared to other children of the same age. Like all children and young people, children with learning disabilities can continue to progress and learn throughout their childhood - but more slowly. The degree of disability can vary greatly. Some children with severe disability will never learn to speak and when they grow up will need help with looking after themselves: feeding, dressing or going to the toilet. Other children with mild learning disability can grow up to be independent. General learning disability is different from specific learning difficulty which means that the person has difficulties in one or two areas of their learning, but manages well in other areas of their development. For example, a child can have a specific learning difficulty in reading, writing or understanding what is said to them, but have no problem with learning skills in other areas of life.

The causes for learning disabilities are not well understood, and sometimes there is no apparent cause for a learning disability. However, some causes of neurological impairments include:

· Heredity – Learning disabilities often run in the family. Children with learning disabilities are likely to have parents or other relatives with similar difficulties. · Problems during pregnancy and birth – Learning disabilities can result from anomalies in the developing brain, illness or injury, fetal exposure to alcohol or drugs, low birth weight, oxygen deprivation, or by premature or prolonged labour. · Accidents after birth – Learning disabilities can also be caused by head injuries, malnutrition, or by toxic exposure (such as heavy metals or pesticides).

The 'Social' and 'Medical' Models Of Disability

There are a number of ‘models’ of disability which have been defined over the last few years. The two most frequently mentioned are the ‘social’ and the ‘medical’ models of disability.

The medical model of disability views disability as a ‘problem’ that belongs to the disabled individual. It is not seen as an issue to concern anyone other than the individual affected. For example, if a wheelchair using student is unable to get into a building because of some steps, the medical model would suggest that this is because of the wheelchair, rather than the steps. This medical model approach is based on a belief that the difficulties associated with the disability should be borne wholly by the disabled person, and that the disabled person should make extra effort (perhaps in time and/or money) to ensure that they do not inconvenience anyone else.

The social model of disability, in contrast, would see the steps as the disabling barrier. This model draws on the idea that it is society that disables people, through designing everything to meet the needs of the majority of people who are not disabled. There is a recognition within the social model that there is a great deal that society can do to reduce, and ultimately remove, some of these disabling barriers, and that this task is the responsibility of society, rather than the disabled person. The social model is more inclusive in approach. Pro-active thought is given to how disabled people can participate in activities on an equal footing with non-disabled people. Certain adjustments are made, even where this involves time or money, to ensure disabled people are not excluded.

What is the proportion of people with learning difficulties for whom the cause is not know? (not too sure on this point)

Caring for someone with a learning disability can be challenging. Where some people that have a learning disability are able to learn new skills, speak and dress...
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