This is a handy guide to the topics you need to know about whether studying or working in the field of learning disabilities. The A-Z format allows you to “dip in” and quickly find relevant information on topics ranging from Autism to Rights and from Advocacy to Challenging Behaviors.

Complex Needs

Complex needs


Despite its frequent and increasing use, complex care needs is a term without an agreed definition (Teare, 2008). When referring to complex needs the term is generally one utilised by health and social welfare sectors to encompass children and adults with a combination of physical, intellectual, health, behavioural, emotional and welfare needs along a continuum of complexity which often challenges the social, educational and health structures available to support them resulting in gaps of provision.

Key Points

  • The concept of complex needs is not well defined.
  • Policy and legislation set out to support those with complex needs.
  • Service delivery tends to be fragmented rather than unified.
  • The impact of complex needs is cumulative and compounded.
  • Future service provision must take into account the multifaceted nature of complex disabilities.


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