Moderate learning difficulties (MLD) is sometimes referred to as Global Learning Difficulties. Children with MLD experience difficulty following the school curriculum even with help and support. They have general developmental delay with attainments significantly below the expected level in most areas of the curriculum. As well as MLD there may be other associated special needs such as dyspraxia.
Children with MLD will have a wide range of problems, including a difficulty understanding basic concepts, a lack of logic and problems acquiring basic skills in reading, writing and numeracy which can result in a lack of confidence to use and develop the skills they do have. They may also display poor problem solving skills, an inability to generalise learning and apply it to new situations, and limited communication skills as well as immature social and emotional understanding. There may be a speech and/or language delay or sensory impairment. Many children with MLD have poor fine and gross motor skills and difficulty with personal organisation, as well as a poor auditory and/or visual memory. There can be a difficulty in remembering what has been taught. Many will also develop emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Children with MLD do not find learning easy, and it can become stressful for them. It is not surprising to find that they can develop challenging behaviours if their needs are not being fully recognised and understood. Many children with MLD are able to remain in mainstream schools but by the time they reach secondary school they may find the demands too stressful with a wider range of subjects and the need to move around the school for classes an additional burden.
Some organisations that can offer advice and support: