From personal experience I know there to be much inconsistency in the
understanding and usage of the term even amongst clinicians and service
providers in the UK.
I first of all have to confess I do not know my IQ score, I do know that in
some specific areas it is very high, but correspondingly in others very low,
but which way the average from that falls I cannot tell you. I do not have
much faith in such things.
However I was diagnosed with a condition which is usually only supposed to
be diagnosed in people with an IQ over 70 (I am certain though that it is
for historico/cultural reasons applied to be people with less in my personal
When I was diagnosed I was also informed that relative to most people I
would likely meet with the condition, I also had lerning difficulties
possibly accounted for by brain damage. Now no-one took care to explain to
me what was meant by lerning difficulties in this context. I have since
lernt that if I had not had lerning difficulties as well I would not have
been allocated the services I was at the time within the helth service as
people with straightforward AS are left to fend for themselves.
However in terms of Social Services, I am not considered to have lerning
difficulties, and therefore by default come within the category of mental
health. That is not to say I have never had problems of a more conventional
mental helth nature, but that is not why I come within the remit of social
services as it is quite clear that a lot of things to do with mental helth
are clearly inappropriate. I am not going to recover, or for that matter
Now within the context of a lerning environment, I do indeed have
difficulties, with the things I have difficulties in but with the things
where I do not have difficulties, I excel, however the overall scheme of
things means that without sufficient accomodations for the things where I
have difficulties and will always have difficulties I will never make much
headway with the things where I excel.
I am at a disadvantage academically, for there are those who argue that
giving me the accomodations is dumbing down and that simply people who
cannot write and spell and add up within the normal paradigms, do not
Well you see it is all crazy to me. Words words words, I most certainly do
not have lerning dificulties of the degree experienced by some people I am
familiar with, you certainly would be wrong in believing that, the evidence
is clear from my posts if nothing else, yet there are people like me, who
not so many years ago were nonetheless considered to be in that category and
segregated as a result. Those to whom it has happened have a lasting legacy
of mistrust for anything after that.
Larry hoping to shed some light on a very complex subject
> -----Original Message-----
> From: The Disability-Research Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of David J. Connor
> Sent: 24 February 2003 17:51
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: learning disability or difficulty?
> I would also like to develop a discussion around this topic. In
> addition, I
> am interested in the differences between the use of "learning
> disability" in
> the UK and USA. In the US, LD is encoded in law/medicine/education as a
> person with "average" intelligence who has, by and large, difficulty in
> processing information therefore unable to meet (socially-constructed,
> normed) academic requirements in school. In other words, the
> actual academic
> performance is markedly discrepant from "age appropriate" expectations. Of
> course, this makes LD is an extremely problematic concept for many, many
> reasons... Still, I am intersted in how LD is
> in the UK and would be interested to know, especially in terms of how it
> impacts children's experience in school.
> David Connor
> Teachers College, Columbia University
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