This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. I'm fine with this Cookie information
Cookie Control


Communication difficulties are prevalent amongst persons with learning disabilities.

Limited communication affects people's ability to access healthcare:

• To read and understand appointment letters
• To convey information effectively to health staff
• To fully understand recommendations and guidelines given by health staff

People with communication difficulties can present as uncooperative, exhibit challenging behaviour, or can be vulnerable and socially isolated.

Indicators may include:

• The person repeats back what is said by others
• The person always talks about a favourite topic / says the same thing repeatedly
• The person answers “yes” to everything
• The person answers “no” to everything
• The person answers “don’t know” to everything
• When offered a choice, the person always chooses the last option
• The person is easily distracted, maybe walking away during conversation
• The person is a “loner” and doesn’t want to join in
• The person changes topic in the middle of a conversation
• The person does not use words

Health staff's awareness and use of helpful communication strategies can help achieve more effective communication.