Someone with a learning difficulty or disability will have difficulties with language, literacy and numeracy. The level of support and services required for a child or young person depends on how severe the learning difficulty is. In education a learning difficulty is described as:
• Mild Learning Difficulty – it can be difficult to identify as the child or young person will often mix well with others and will cope with most everyday tasks. It may take longer for someone with a mild learning difficulty to process information and occasionally they may need help with more complicated tasks. Children and young people with this type of difficulty would not be considered to have special educational needs. Their needs can be met by the usual classroom differentiation.
• Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD) – for someone with this level of difficulty, learning will be at least one or two years behind compared with others of the same age. It takes those with MLD longer to learn. They may struggle with everyday tasks such as telling the time and managing money. Most children and young people with MLD will be identified as having a special educational need (SEN) and will receive extra help and support from school.
• Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD) – children and young people with SLD have significant intellectual or cognitive impairments. They may also have difficulties with mobility and coordination, communication and completing self-help tasks. Pupils with SLD will need additional support in most areas of the curriculum. Most children and young people with SLD will have an Education, Health & Care Plan.
• Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) – children and young people with PMLD have complex learning needs. In addition to very severe learning difficulties, children/young people have other significant difficulties such as physical difficulties, sensory impairment or a severe medical condition. A high level of adult support is required at all times. Children and young people are likely to need sensory stimulation and a curriculum broken down into very small steps. Most children and young people with PMLD will have an Education, Health & Care Plan.
For further support and guidance you can contact the Team for Children and Young People with Physical Disabilities (PD Team) Rochdale Additional Needs Service (RANS)
Tel: 01706 925900 or 01706 926400