How to get an assessment

A diagnosis of a learning disability often does not give you an accurate impression of what your child can and cannot do and how they will develop. Your child is an individual and you know them best and understand their needs. As a parent or carer, you can help your child by encouraging their strengths and getting the right support to help them overcome the things they find difficult. Getting a diagnosis of a Learning Disability is often the first step to access the care and support your child will need.

Children and young people with a learning disability have reduced intellectual ability, they will tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.  The level of support someone needs depends on the individual. In all cases a learning disability is lifelong.

If you think your child may have a Learning Disability it is best to discuss your concerns with  your Health Visitor (for pre-school children) or GP in the first instance. The Health Visitor or GP may refer your child on to a paediatrician to undertake a more in-depth assessment of their s needs. If you have reports from your child’s school on their educational progress this can a help professionals in assessing this.

You could use a screening tool, which may help you to decide whether a Learning Disability assessment would be appropriate for your child. Please note: the use of a screening tool does not provide an accurate diagnosis.

If you child is in school and is struggling please discuss this with their class teacher and the school’s SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-Ordinator), they will be able to assess your child’s needs and put a plan in place to support them.  Your child will not need a diagnosis of a learning disability for support to be put in place.

Page updated: 04/05/2021 Page updated by: GCC

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