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Dr Joanne Gallagher Specialist Clinical Psychologist Belfast Trust.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Joanne Gallagher Specialist Clinical Psychologist Belfast Trust."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Joanne Gallagher Specialist Clinical Psychologist Belfast Trust


3  3 requirements: 1. Significant impairment in intellectual functioning (IQ). This means the person has great difficulty with their thinking skills.

4 2. Significant impairment in adaptive/social functioning. This means that the person has difficulty with aspects of their independence and taking care of themselves. 3. These difficulties develop during the developmental period (i.e. First 18 years of life)

5 Learning difficulties Intellectual Disability Dyslexia Dyscalculia Mental handicap Severe mental impairment Dyspraxia Mental illness

6 Learning Disability Not Learning Disability Mental handicapLearning difficulties Severe mental impairmentDyslexia Intellectual disabilityDyspraxia ADHD Mental illness


8 World Health Organisation Mild LD – IQ 55 – 70 Moderate LD – IQ 40 – 55 Severe LD – IQ 25 – 40 Profound LD – IQ <25

9  Prevalence – 2.2% of population

10 Is the number of people with learning disability increasing or decreasing??

11 Why? Some reasons are:  Increased life expectancy  Improvements in care for very pre-term babies

12  Higher prevalence of Learning Disability in N. Ireland due to: Older mothers Abortion laws Poverty & social disadvantage


14  Before birth  During birth  After birth

15 People with a learning disability have increased health difficulties  2.5 times more likely to have health problems  4 times more likely to die of preventable diseases  58 times more likely to die before age 50

16  Live with family  Poverty  Stigma; prejudice; discrimination; negative expectations  Hate crime  Limited friendships  Mate crime – exploitation & victimisation  Sexual abuse (x4 times)  Limited Choices

17  Self esteem  Difficulty expressing emotion  History & expectations of failure – learned helplessness  Poor problem solving skills, memory deficits  Coping styles – poor stress tolerance

18  Assesses whether person has a learning disability: IQ assessments and social functioning assessments needed for diagnosis of Learning Disability

19  Work with clients who have mental health issues:  Depression  Anxiety  Relationship issues  Bereavement  Psychosis  Trauma  Phobias

20  Traditional talking therapies may need to be adapted for people with learning disabilities: - Use simple verbal communication - Make communication visual by writing things down, using pictures and symbols. - Use role plays - Repetition of information - Work at a slower pace

21  Challenging behaviour can include: behaviours which impact on community use; or unsafe behaviours. eg. self injury- hitting self, aggression to others, stripping, swearing, screaming etc.

22 Clinical Psychologists investigate the FUNCTION of the particular behaviour and develop behaviour support plans so that the person can get that need met in other more appropriate ways.

23  Assess if a person is able to make important decisions about their money, home, health, relationships etc.  Supporting parents who have a learning disability.  Autism assessments and advice.  Dementia assessments and advice.

24  One to One with the client  Family  Residential staff  Teachers  Group Work  Consultations with other staff


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