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.

Behavioural Phenotypes

Behavioural phenotypes


The term ‘behavioural phenotypes’ describes those behaviours displayed by individuals which may be attributed to an underlying genetic causation. The terminology and ideas originated from the studies and teachings of Langdon Down who, in 1866, described people with Down syndrome as having particular personality and behavioural attributes (Collacott et al., 1998), descriptions which were not, incidentally, ratified in later studies of their behaviour. People with learning disabilities do not present as a product of their genetic makeup only, but as individuals with very different personalities, likes, dislikes and behaviours. What, then, can be learned from the study of behavioural phenotypes that is relevant to the lives of people with learning disabilities today and the people who care for and support them?

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