Diagnosing learning disabilities

How do I get a diagnosis?

Ask your GP  to make a referral to the Community Learning Disability Service (CLDS) who can assess you for a learning disability and/or autism.

Making a referral to the CLDS social care team?

Anyone can make a referral but the learning disability service will only offer an assessment if there is enough evidence that the eligibility criteria are likely to be met.

All referrals are reviewed and we will contact you or the person making the referral on your behalf if we need more information and we welcome self-referrals.

Complete our referral form.

Next steps

We will contact you to arrange an assessment.

This is simply a conversation between yourself and a social work or health professional to:

  • understand what help and support you might need coping with life on a day to day basis and living independently in your own home
  • decide if we are the right team for the person and to look at the health and social care support the person is requesting/needs.

If we are not the best people to provide support, we will put you in contact with other services. This could include mainstream services; we will support people to use these whenever they can.

 What happens during the assessment

During the assessment:

  • questions will be asked about birth and developmental history, and
  • previous reports reviewed, e.g.
    • information on Education Health and Care Plan (EHCPs)
    • diagnostic assessments
    • skills assessments.

We may also complete cognitive and skills assessments to help us decide if someone has a learning disability. We will also talk about strengths, difficulties and things that the person needs support with.

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