Your local Council and Health services have a team of professionals dedicated to providing and arranging advice and support for people with a learning disability and/or autism.

What is a learning disability/autism?

A learning disability is a lifelong condition that occurs from birth or before 18 that affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. A learning disability may be mild, moderate, severe, or profound and multiple.

People with a learning disability may have difficulty:

  • Understanding new and complex information 
  • Learning new skills
  • Coping independently 
  • Managing money, reading, writing.

It’s important to remember that with the right support, most people with a learning disability in the UK can lead independent lives. Learning disability is often confused with dyslexia and mental health problems. Dyslexia is described as a “learning difficulty” because, unlike learning disability, it does not affect intellect.
Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time and may be overcome with treatment, which is not true of learning disability- for mental health support contact NHS Single point of access - Adult Mental Health Services


The criteria for the adult learning disability team support is:

  • Diagnosis of learning disability (IQ of 70 or less) 
  • And/or Autism/Aspergers diagnosis

How do I get a diagnosis?

You can visit your GP and ask them to make a referral to the RDASH community learning disability services who can assess you for a learning disability and/or autism.

How do I make a referral to the community adult learning disability social care team?

Under the Care Act 2014 the local authority will give you information and advice for early support and to prevent needs developing or they can undertake an assessment of your care and support needs.

To make a referral you can contact us on 01302 737391 or email

What help and support can we give you?

If you meet the Care Act (2014) eligibility criteria and are eligible for social care, a care and support plan will be agreed and identified needs and outcomes can be met in a variety of ways:

Will I be expected to pay for care and support?

Each person who receives support will be given a financial assessment to see what they can contribute towards their own care financially- for more information about financial assessments and care charges please visit the Financial assessments page.

I care for someone with a learning disability/autism can I get help?

If you care for someone with a learning disability and/or autism you may be eligible for a carers assessment of your own needs under the Care Act 2014. You can make a referral via by contacting us. There is also lots of useful carers information and support on our carers page.

I have concerns about someone with a learning disability/autism in relation to safeguarding

Please visit our safeguarding page to find out further information and to report any safeguarding concerns.

We aim to support Adults at risk to retain independence and be able to live a life free from abuse and neglect. Everyone has the right to be safe, to be respected, to be heard. Everyone has a role to play to make this happen.

Who is an adult at risk? Our safeguarding duties apply to a person aged 18 or over who:

  • has needs for care and support
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • is unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect
Last updated: 03 October 2022 10:20:53

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