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Jargon Buster

Learning Disability

A Learning Disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities, which affects someone for their whole life.

People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.

The level of support someone needs depends on the individual. For example, someone with a mild learning disability may only need support with things like getting a job. However, someone with a severe or profound learning disability may need full­time care and support with every aspect of their life – they may also have physical disabilities.

People with certain specific conditions can have a learning disability too. For example, people with Down’s syndrome and some people with autism have a learning disability. With the right medical, psychological, educational and social support most people with a learning disability can lead independent lives.

Learning Support Assistant (LSA)

A Learning Support Assistant (LSA), often referred to as a Teaching Assistant (TA), is provided to support teachers and pupils in the classroom. LSAs/TAs work in mainstream primary and secondary schools and special schools.

Local Authority

A Local Authority is an organisation that is officially responsible for all the public services and facilities in a particular area.

Local Offer

The Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also gives information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.


Low Incidence Needs Service


Language Impairment






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