Learning Disability Service
Any adult who has a suspected learning disability can be referred to our service for an assessment to determine if they meet criteria for a learning disability diagnosis. This can help identify the most appropriate services needed to support someone with their health or social care needs.
A learning disability assessment looks at whether an individual has a global cognitive impairment (within the lower 2% of the population), which affects their everyday functioning and has been present since childhood.
- The following indicators may suggest that further assessment would be appropriate:
- Attending specialist school/requiring additional support at school
- Lack of academic qualifications
- Difficulties with independent living, for example requiring support with finances, personal care, maintaining home
- Difficulty understanding/retaining verbal information
- Difficulty accessing the community independently (for example using maps, public transport etc)
Unfortunately, we are unable to assess for specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia.
Who is our service for?
Our service is available for anyone aged 16 and above who is registered with a Wigan GP and has a suspected learning disability.
How to access our service
You can be referred to the service by your health or social care professional.
What will happen at your first appointment?
After a referral has been accepted, you will be placed on a waiting list.
First appointments can vary and will depend on what a person has been referred to the service for. In all first appointments you will meet a member of the team who will go through your reason for referral and discuss how you want to proceed with this.
Assessment appointments will usually be completed across two - four sessions, at the Hazelmere Unit. The assessment usually has three components:
- Assessment of cognitive ability - this involves a series of subtests assessing the domains of verbal comprehension, working memory, perceptual reasoning and processing speed.
- Assessment of adaptive functioning - this is completed either directly with the person or with someone who knows them well. The assessment involves a number of questions about someone’s level of independence and their adaptive functioning (social, practical and conceptual skills to handle the demands of everyday life).
- Clinical interview - this involves an interview with a member of our team who will take a detailed history with the individual and/or a family member to determine whether difficulties have been evident since childhood.
On completion of the assessment appointments, the healthcare professional will meet with you to explain the results, and a report will be sent to the referrer with the conclusion of the assessment and recommendations.
A shorter letter detailing the outcome of the assessment will also be sent to the Primary Care Access Team so that their learning disability database can be amended accordingly.
We also offer a one off post diagnostic workshop for service users and their families where further information is provided on the diagnosis and local services.