Getting an adults learning disabilities diagnosed? - Mencap


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Getting an adults learning disabilities diagnosed?

3434Loren profile image

Hi all, wondering if someone can help. My in-law is struggling to claim benefits she is entitled to. Basically she seriously struggles with maths, English, basic nutrition, cleanliness Etc and has a very "child like" mind. This makes her a very vulnerable adult and she has on many occasions been conned or tricked out of her money once people become aware of this. She is currently living in sheltered accomodation, she did attend a special school when she was a child but this was 50 years + ago so she kinda slipped through the system. Part of the struggle with the benefit system is she has no recorded learning disabilities, we did try talking to her GP but he has said the NHS don't do assessments for adults so we are abit stuck as to what to do now. Any help is greatly appreciated.

8 Replies

Social Services have learning disabilities section for adults

Hi 3434Loren I'm so sorry to hear that the GP hasn't been supportive - and I feel it's not accurate to say that the NHS don't assess as adults - I've heard of other adults having assessments for the first time and receiving a diagnosis.

I would consider going back to the GP (or asking to see a different one) and asking where it is documented or advised that adults don't receive assessments (For example - are there NICE guidelines saying that this is an ineffective practice??) (I don't notice anything on this NHS webpage stating that adults cannot receive a diagnosis )

You could ask to be referred to a specialist for diagnosis (a clinical psychologist perhaps?), the local learning disability team for more support (an NHS team, they are usually very helpful - specialist community nurses), and social services for a review of her needs (if she hasn't had a needs assessment in over a year?).

Hope this helps, do let us know how you get on.


Let your partner/spouse know about Sibs - the charity for brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults.

In the north west where I live it is the Learning Disability Nursing Team that are responsible for LD assessment and people suspected of having a learning disability can self refer or be referred by their GP. This is a service commissioned by the CCG who may be a good point of contact, another avenue to explore is your local Learning Disability Partnership Board, each area should have one. But this is not necessarily a passport to benefits as the person will still need to have a Personal Independence Payment assessment for their needs. We have found also that GP's in general are not aware of the requirements for LD such as the Annual Health Checks which are often carried out by Health Care Assistants and some surgeries do not even do that as it is not part of the GP contract but an enhanced service they can do and get extra payment for.

Hello there. It would be worth trying to get detailed benefits advice. Mencap's Learning Disability helpline have people who may be able to help - or put you in touch with some who can. Give them a call on 0808 808 1111


They may also be able to help with advice about getting a diagnosis, or anything else you might want to know about.

Best wishes, Sarah

Soczela profile image
Soczela in reply to Sarah_Mencap

It is so painful to keep in touch on the phone any e-mail address to e-mail?

Social Services deal with such cases - disability for adults???????

Charlie2750 profile image
Charlie2750Community friend

Hi Loren

With benefits you may be able to ask for a form for Personal Independence Payments from benefits office and fill this in which may help you to "assess" how disabled she is.

Many years ago(I am 69) my sisterstarted a special school when she was 8 or 9 because she was backward which was a term frequently used for children who failed to get on in school.Not many schools were around back then and she had to live awayabout 30 miles away and came home during summer holidays.

I believe she didnt get any benefits but she did get married and had a son who also has mild learning disabilities.

As everyone else points out either challenge the gp or (and this is the benefit of big gp practices)ask to see another gp.

As she is living in sheltered accomadation she may have a support worker/manager/warden who may be able to help and also go to Social Services. Good luck

Soczela profile image
Soczela in reply to Charlie2750

Hi Charlie,I have an 8,5 years old boy who has learning difficulties,is it possible to help tham put it in special school withouth they living far from us?

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