Learning Disability

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The assignment will focus on a 45 year old lady of Asian origin who has a mild learning disability. She also suffers from type 2 Diabetes and Bipolar affective disorder. The assignment will explain the nature of her learning disability and explore how Bio-Psycho-Social factors have influenced her life. The role of her learning disability nurse in supporting her needs through a person-centred planning approach will also be analysed. The assignment will also discuss with reference to the four key principals in valuing people (DOH, 2001) some of the challenges faced in supporting people with learning disability. Service users’ information should be kept confidential, therefore for the purpose of the assignment, pseudonym will be used and the service user will be referred to as Lilly NMC, (2008) Lilly suffers from a mild learning disability which was discovered at the age of six in school. She showed a developmental delay as she could not read or understand what was being taught. Learning Disability can be defined as 'A significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (Impaired Intelligence), a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning) and which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development DOH, (2001) There are about 1.2 million people with mild to moderate learning disabilities: they also tend to have higher rates of physical and mental health conditions and lower levels of provision of healthcare DOH,( 2007). Lilly’s nature of learning disability is known to be intellectual developmental delay. This is usually observed between the ages of 6 to 8. During this period of growth, children develop the ability to understand perspectives or wishes of others and are able to think in rational ways. They understand that others may hold opinions and have feelings that differ from their own. Academically children around the age of six are ready to begin more complex tasks like reading, writing and performing mathematics. As they progress from six to eight years old, they are able to take on more demanding tasks in school (Piaget's Stage, 3). Lilly could not retain any new information and she kept on forgetting. This meant that she had to be reminded all the time. According to Gates, (1997) Learning Disability is used to describe a group of people with significant developmental delay that results in arrested or incomplete achievement of the “normal milestones” of human development. Lilly could not interact well with children her age because her speech was minimal. She used single words and repeated short sentences. She could not read or write complex words compared to other children. Some of these limitations in learning disabilities are seen as difficulties and therefore affect schoolwork. During her time in school, Lilly had no professional support and her mother decided to take her out of school so she could support her at home. Lilly lived with her mum and two other children in a two bedroom flat, which meant she had to share her bedroom with her siblings. People with learning disabilities are most likely to live in areas with high levels of social deprivation and experience social hardship. Low social status and poor social networks are probably the most risk factors for poor health DOH,( 2009). This had an impact on Lilly both socially and psychologically. She was lonely and could not go out and play like her other siblings, she became withdrawn, at times not talking or engaging with others. During these times, Lilly gained a lot of weight because of poor eating habits. Less than 10% of adults with learning disabilities eat a balanced diet, with an insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables and a lack of knowledge and choice about healthy eating Robertson et al, 2000; Rodgers,( 1998). Lilly’s physical health deteriorated as she did not engage in any physical activity. Over 80% of adults with learning disabilities engage in levels of...
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