Skip to main content

A learning disability is when someone finds it difficult to understand things or learn how to do new things. They also find it harder to do everyday things that other people find easy.

What is it like for siblings if their brother or sister has a learning disability?

Siblings often have very good relationships with their brothers and sisters who have a learning disability. They may worry about what will happen to their brothers and sisters when they get older and who will help to look after them. Siblings can feel sad that their brothers and sisters struggle with everyday things that they find easy. It can also make them feel guilty.

What causes a learning disability?

A learning disability happens when someone’s brain hasn’t developed properly. It may happen before they are born, while they are a baby, or as a young child. Sometimes it is caused by a serious illness or head injury, but often nobody knows why it happens.

What does it mean?

Someone with a learning disability may find it hard to learn things, understand people or have conversations with people. Some people may need help eating, drinking, getting washed and dressed and going to the toilet. People with a mild learning disability may only need help with a few things like managing their money. People with a severe or profound learning disability may need help with everything in their lives.

What treatment is there?

People with a learning disability need extra help and more time to learn things. Sometimes they need to be taught in a different way to make it easier for them to learn. A learning disability is there for all of the person’s life. With help and support, people with learning disabilities can have good lives.

This information has been approved by Mencap September 2018