Learning difficulties study’s shock findings

The above-average occurrence of mental health problems among children with learning difficulties may not be linked to their condition, according to research due to be published shortly.

The study, which has been carried out by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and is set to be published within the next couple of weeks, found the higher rate of mental illness could instead be a consequence of life experience.

Eric Emerson, professor of disability and health research at Lancaster University, who was involved in the study, told delegates children with learning difficulties were more likely to experience poverty, social exclusion, neglect and abuse than other children.

This had large implications for the way services were provided for the group.

“A policy around improving the mental health of children with learning difficulties has to be based around reducing poverty and social exclusion,” he concluded


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