Many children are affected with either a general learning disability or have specific disorders of learning such as dyslexia which can impair educational progress.
Many children suffer with epilepsy in childhood. The effects of seizures and the side-effects of anti-convulsant medication can also impair learning and development.
There are many causes of LD ranging from genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome, tuberous sclerosis and cerebral palsy, to acquired brain injury in childhood, disorders of metabolism, infections (e.g. measles) and exposure to toxins, such as lead, though this is rare nowadays.
The specialities of Learning Disability in Psychiatry, and/or Paediatric Medicine, or Paediatric Neurology are usually involved in the early diagnosis and management of individuals with LD into adult life.
After that, services such as Neuropsychiatry and Neurology may occasionally become involved in providing specialist input, for example in the psychopharmacological management of challenging behaviours. The latter should be a last resort and there are strict guidelines on the use of psychotropic medications in this group of patients for use in managing challenging behaviour.