Whitaker, Simon (2004) Hidden learning disability. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32 (3). pp. 139-143. ISSN 13544187

Although it has been suggested that about 2.5% of the population as a whole should
be regarded as having a mild-to-moderate learning disability, only about 0.25% of
the population is registered as having a learning disability. This paper considers
why this disparity exists. It is suggested that although 2.5% of the population may be
a good estimate for people with IQs less than 70, a better estimate of the proportion
of the population who reach a dual criteria of having both a low IQ and social/skill
defects is about 1%. It is pointed out that even if true prevalence rate of learning
disability is nearer to 1% rather than 2.5%, services still only know of a small
proportion of people who could be considered to have a learning disability, and
there are probably a large number of people with unidentified learning disabilities. It
is also noted that the term ‘learning disability’ can be very confusing as it is not clear
if it refers to people who have IQs below 70, people with both intellectual and
adaptive disabilities or people who have been given a learning disability label. The
implications of this for services and research are discussed.

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