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Learning disabilities

Leicester Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). Health and social care needs associated with learning disabilities, 2016.

Learning disabilities are lifelong conditions characterised by cognitive impairment.

In many cases no specific cause of disability can be determined. When causes are identified they are usually genetic, environmental or traumatic in origin.

Autistic spectrum disorders are commonly associated with learning disabilities. These are developmental and are characterised by difficulties in social interaction, communication and imagination. About half of people with severe learning disabilities have some kind of autistic spectrum disorder.

Around 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability. It’s thought that up to 350,000 people have a severe learning disability.

The following chapter further details the level of need in the population, current services in place, project service use, any service gaps and recommendations for commissioners.