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 and/or challenging behaviour. This can include:

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

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/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 a monthly consultation forum to professionals who wish to discuss the needs of a young person
  • the forum aims to bring together representatives from health, social services and education to discuss the young person’s needs

Parent support group

Support and training sessions are held every half term for parents and carers who have had contact with the LDMH service.

The sessions usually involve a presentation from a guest speaker, followed by an opportunity for informal discussion and mutual support. Previous topics have included sensory processing, communication issues and weight management.

Meetings are held on Monday mornings in the Group Room at Centenary House, Upperthorpe. Go to the main reception when you arrive and a member of the team will show you to the room.

You are welcome to arrive from 9.45am and the speaker will start at 10.30am. The sessions normally finish by 12.30pm. Refreshments are provided.

Dates for 2016-17 are:

9 May 2016
11 July 2016
12 September 2016
14 November 2016
9 January 2017
13 March 2017
8 May 2017
10 July 2017

You do not have to attend every session and can bring along a friend or family member for support if we have enough space. You can attend the group until your child is 25 years old, regardless of when they finished working with the LDMH team.


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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