Lifelong learning disability - or not

I’m new to this forum but I hope someone might be able to help. My brother is 55, was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (no shunt) and was this brain damaged at birth. He, and the rest of our family have lived with this all his life and assumed it would be blindingly obvious that he has profound learning disabilities - poor memory processing, poor awareness of time, inability to understand consequence of actions/inactions, unable to write much, never been able to work, etc. In order to find him more suitable accommodation now he is older we need to get him an assessment of his learning disability. Social services have refused to do so as they say he is not learning disabled, but has some “learning difficulties”. I cannot understand how this has happened - why does this not count as a learning disability? Isn’t hydrocephalus, lifelong and from birth, a learning disability? Has anyone else had a similar experience?

What information do you have from his childhood - school, diagnoses, psychology reports, support provided?

You may find that his GP records have useful information and pointers to information - you can obtain them through a GDPR “subject access” request.

You CAN then challenge the social care “assessment” - and you may find that asking for ALL his social care and educational records will give you the ammunition you need from their records!

However, you may need to obtain (and possibly pay for) a detailed assessment of al the information by a psychologist of his current functioning.

1 Like

Hello Katy
The council can’t refuse to assess a person’s need for care/support under the 2014 Care Act. Para 6.13 of the Act states that “Local Authorities must undertake an assessment for any adult with an appearance of need for care and support, regardless of whether or not the local authority thinks the individual has eligible needs or of their financial situation.” The following publication may be of help:

Good luck!

1 Like

Thanks for the helpful replies - the GP has also made a referral and I’m waiting to see if social services act on that one. If they don’t I’ll certainly make a SAR request and try again, armed with the Care Act. Fingers crossed.

1 Like

All the best @Katydid, let us know how you get on.