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Report notes learning disability growth

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The number of adults in Scotland diagnosed with learning disabilities has increased by 10% in a year, according to a new report.

More than 25,000 adults received help from their council to live in the community last year, representing nearly six in every 1,000 people over 16, and a 40% increase since 2003.

Having collated the figures, the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability claims the rise may reflect the broader definitions of disability introduced in 2008.

Autism spectrum disorder, for example, was diagnosed in 11% of the total, said the consortium.

Another changing trend identified by the survey was that most of those getting help no longer live in large group homes: only 10% live with four or more other people with learning disabilities and almost half (48%) live with a family carer.

Around 18% held down employment but only 6% worked for more than 16 hours a week.

Consortium director Lisa Curtice said: “Adults with learning disabilities are a minority that must be taken seriously in Scotland.

“It is not just social work services but education, employment, leisure and housing services that need to plan how they will support them to live independent lives.”

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