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Learning disabilities

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Welcome to the Child and Adolescent Learning Disability and Mental Health (LDMH) Service.

Based at Centenary House, we see children and young people up to 18 who have moderate, severe, or profound learning disabilities, who also experience mental health problems, challenging behaviour or both. This can include:

  • anxiety
  • anger and aggression
  • repetitive behaviours and routines
  • low mood, sadness
  • difficulties complying with parents’ or adults’ instructions
  • agitated, unsettled or disruptive behaviours
  • poor self-esteem
  • self-harm

We work in a number of ways to support young people with their difficulties. This includes consultation with professionals and services, and direct work with young people and their families. We meet children and families in community settings such as their home, school, respite and in clinic.

About learning disabilities

The World Health Organisation states that a learning disability is ‘a significant impairment of intellectual functioning’ and of ‘adaptive or social functioning’. A learning disability affects the way a person understands, learns and remembers new information. It also impacts upon the way a person communicates, manages independent living skills and social situations.

A learning disability is a life long condition, which affects a person across all areas of their life and is present from birth. It is not the same as a learning difficulty which tends to refer to a specific difficulty with a skill such as reading or writing.

The team

We are a small team of professionals who work across the city supporting children and their families. The team consists of professionals from child and adolescent psychiatry, clinical psychology, learning disability nursing, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and administrative support. We also often have trainees and students working with the team.

How we help

  • We meet young people, families and the services supporting these families
  • We work together to assess and better understand a young person’s experiences and behaviour
  • We support families and young people to work towards their chosen goals which can include: a better understanding of the young person’s disabilities and difficulties, more parental confidence when managing their child’s behaviour and strategies for managing anxiety and aggression.
  • We appreciate that families can be involved with lots of services, so offer Consultation appointments to professionals who wish to discuss the needs of a young person (please see our ‘Consultation Information Leaflet’ for further details)
  • Consultation aims to bring together representatives from health, social services and education to discuss the young person’s needs
The process

1 – Referral

  • The referral from your GP is accepted
  • Your parent or carer is sent details of a consultation appointment 

2 – Consultation

  • After the first appointment, the team will decide if another consultation is needed
  • For some families, consultation appointments are enough to help. This means they may finish getting support from our service after 1 to 4 consultations

3 – Direct work

  • If consultation appointments suggest that more direct work would be helpful, we put you on a waiting list for more direct support
  • We will let your parent or carer know when you have reached the top of the waiting list
  • We will arrange an appointment to meet a clinician and make a plan for future support
LDMH CAMHS while you wait

LDMH CAMHS while you wait

Parenting a young person with a learning disability can be both ...


We accept referrals of children with a GP in Sheffield, up to 18 years old. Our pathway starts with a consultation meeting, which brings together the family and all the professionals working with them. This enables us to ensure that we offer appropriate and effective input.

Professionals from any service can contact us to ask for a consultation, though if direct work is required we will need a formal referral from a CAMHS or Ryegate professional.

Find out more about referring to us.

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