This section contains articles about various physical conditions and illnesses, and their implications for people with intellectual disabilities.
Alcohol use disorders in people with intellectual disability. This article was originally published in BJPsych Advances, Volume 24 , Issue 4 , July 2018 , pp. 264 – 272, Cambridge University Press. Copyright © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2018. It is available via this link, with kind permission of the authors. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bjpsych-advances/article/alcohol-use-disorders-in-people-with-intellectual-disability/49C8C4541841ABD6F8AABC118C1B06D2
Substance misuse in people with learning disabilities: reasonable adjustments guidance. This summarises the research about the particular difficulties of people with learning disabilities who have substance misuse problems; and it provides information about successful approaches and resources for supporters. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/substance-misuse-and-people-with-learning-disabilities/substance-misuse-in-people-with-learning-disabilities-reasonable-adjustments-guidance . For further information, see also Substance misuse and people with learning disabilities: making reasonable adjustments to services https://www.ndti.org.uk/assets/files/Substance_Misuse_RA_Report.pdf and A Manual for Extended Brief Intervention for Alcohol Misuse by People with Learning Disabilities https://www.sabp.nhs.uk/application/files/7615/1669/9810/Research_manual4Alc.pdf
Constipation in autistic people and people with learning disabilities. This article, published in the British Journal of General Practice, gives an overview of constipation and related concerns in people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people. It provides recommendations to primary care to help address this issue. Please see https://bjgp.org/content/72/720/348 (July 2022)
Stopping smoking: A photo journey for people with learning disabilities. This pdf, prepared by Rotherham and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, gives very helpful advice and information about how to stop smoking, through a series of pictures, which conclude by highlighting the benefits of stopping smoking. https://www.rdash.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/DP6851-Stopping-smoking-photo-journey-04.18.pdf
This is the story of John Davies, who has learning disabilities. He was diagnosed with cancer and tells his story in his own words.
Pain is often the first indicator of injury and illness, but in a person with intellectual disabilities this warning sign could be easily missed.
Children and adults with developmental (intellectual) and learning difficulties may exhibit delayed cognitive development.
Most people with epilepsy do not have intellectual disabilities, but a substantial minority of people with intellectual disabilities have epilepsy.
Parents of children with Down's Syndrome face the same worries as other parents when their child is diagnosed with heart problems, but they may also worry about 'discrimination' in the treatment of their child.
A well-nourished individual with Down's Syndrome, living in the community, in good housing and free of other diseases, will not suffer the rates of infection associated with a defined primary immunodeficiency.
People with Down's Syndrome have a small risk of acute or chronic neurological problems caused by cervical spine instability.
It is important to be aware of the type of anatomical soft tissue and dental anomalies which are part of the typical developmental pattern of people with Down's Syndrome, which have influence on dental problems.
Clinical Guidelines and Integrated Care Pathways For The Oral Health Care Of People With Learning Disabilities
Article published by the Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The fact that someone has a learning disability automatically increases his/her chance of experiencing a sight problem. However, there are specific groups of people within the intellectually disabled population who are particularly at risk of developing certain sight problems.
Visually impaired individuals are all very different. The degree of impairment, personality, intelligence, background and the presence of other disabilities all have varying effects.
Parents, and especially teachers, should be aware that distance acuity is likely to be poorer than for children who do not have Down's Syndrome. They should provide distance objects (pictures and signs) which are larger than usual.
People with intellectual impairment often have difficulty processing speech, especially in noise, and in locating the source of a sound. A mild hearing loss will make these tasks even more difficult.
Link to booklet on childhood deafness and Down's Syndrome
Identification of Difficulties Experienced With The Physical Application of Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids and their Association with Auricular Anatomy
A small study aimed to identify more than normal difficulties experienced by a group of Down's Syndrome BTE aid wearers, auricular anomalies and any associations between the difficulties and presence of those anomalies.
The benefits of exercise and training for a reference population are well understood and the merits well documented. The aim of this updated review is to ascertain the benefits of exercise for a Down’s Syndrome population.
Obesity is a serious problem with associated health risks for the general population, and with greater prevalence amongst people with intellectual disability, increasing morbidity and mortality.
This article explores what is currently known about people with an intellectual disability who smoke and how best to support smoking cessation in those who wish to quit.
It is essential in understanding disruptive behaviour patterns in ASD to be aware of the important role of sensory modulation, and that assessment, diagnosis and treatment should be considered from a multi-disciplinary perspective.