Transitioning From Childhood To Adult With Learning Disabilities

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These elements include underachievement determination, central nervous system dysfunction etiology, process involvement, presence throughout the lifespan, specification of spoken language problems as potential learning disabilities, specification of academic problems as potential learning disabilities, specification of conceptual problems as potential learning disabilities, specification of other conditions as potential learning disabilities and allowance for the multihandicapping nature of learning disabilities (Reiff, Gerber Ginsberg, 1993, pp. 114-115). With such a wide base of elements, ranging from physical to performance deficits, it should not be surprising that the definitions themselves are so widely varying as to make it difficult to establish a working stance. However, the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities offers a broad definition of the term that can be quickly understood by outlining it as a condition in which there is a presence of a significant intellectual impairment and deficits in social functioning or adaptive behavior which are present from childhood (2003). Working from this definition, it will be shown how various social policies enacted since 2001 have been effective in assisting people with learning disabilities and their families overcome some of the major challenges that arise when the learning disabled child makes the difficult transition into adulthood as well as some of the deficits this program has yet to overcome.To understand the scope of the problem, it is necessary to understand how many people in the UK are currently affected in their daily lives by some sort of learning disability, whether it is mild or severe, simple, or complex. Although there remain no reliable official numbers regarding the prevalence of learning disabilities, primarily because of a lack of agreement among agencies regarding an ‘official’ definition as to what exactly constitutes a learning disability, it is estimated that there are approximately 580,000-1,750,000 individuals currently living the UK who suffer from some sort of learning disability, including approximately 230,000-350,000 people with severe disability (Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, 2003).