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The reasons why an individual may be identified as a person with a learning disability are many and varied, sometimes not known and often multifactorial, having biological, sociological and psychological influences. But what does the term ‘learning disability’ mean? One of the most widely used definitions of learning disability is taken from the World Health Organisation (WHO). They state that a learning disability, or ‘mental retardation’, is: ‘a condition of arrested or incomplete development of the mind, which is especially characterized by impairment of skills manifested during the developmental period, skills which contribute to the overall level of intelligence, i.e. cognitive, language, motor and social abilities. Retardation can occur with or without any other mental or physical condition’ (WHO, 2007).

Therefore, to receive a diagnosis ...

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