Toggle site contrast Toggle Contract

Children with learning disabilities

We’re a small team of community nurses who work with children and young people with learning disabilities.

What we do

We help each child to meet their optimumĀ  physical, emotional and intellectual potential. We believe that every child and young person with a learning disability has full and equal rights as that of their peers.

Our team works with children and young people in their own homes, schools and respite units. We provide advice for parents/carers and help them to put strategies in place to support their childā€™s skill development in behaviour, sleep and continence promotion. We visit schools to work in groups with children and staff around healthier lifestyles.

Our team

We’re a team of mixed registered learning disability nurses and paediatric nurses based in Aylesbury and Amersham.

Watch a video to find out more about the work of a learning disability nurse from a parent’s point of view.


How we support children and young people

Children with a learning disability may display behaviour that poses a challenge to others and can put the safety of them and others at risk.

Challenging behaviours include:

  • aggression (hitting)
  • self-injury (head banging)
  • destruction (throwing things)
  • pica behaviour (eating inedible objects)
  • sexually inappropriate behaviour, such as undressing or masturbating in public areas
  • other behaviours (sitting down and refusing to move).

How we can help

Challenging behaviour can be very distressing and have a significant impact for your child, your family and your child’s carers.

We offer an initial assessment to help us understand what’s happening. We’ll then see you at home or in a parent consultation.

We provide up-to-date, evidence-based advice and strategies to help your child and your family. We begin working with your family by using our starter pack which helps us better understand your circumstances.

Starter pack

This includes ABC charts and assessments.

See our information resource on Positive thinking about managing challenging behaviour in children.

Useful links

Family information service for parents and carers with children up to the age of 19 (or 25 with an additional need)

Support for vulnerable children and young people



Many children and families have issues with toileting. If a child has a learning disability and/or physical disability, it does not mean that they can not develop in toilet training.

Nearly all children can learn to be clean and dry. They have the right to support and opportunities to develop their continence skills to full potential.

It’s important to promote a healthy bladder and bowels whichever level of continence a child can achieve. Untreated constipation can lead to discomfort, pain, sore skin and bladder problems/infection. All children need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation.

How we can help

We provide advice at home and in school for children aged 5 or above.

Before your child reaches 5 years of age, our health visiting team will provide advice on toileting.

We complete an assessment with your family andĀ  explore strategies that may help stop toileting issues. We can also provide continence products if your child meets the Buckinghamshire Healthcare Continence policy. We also work hard to improve services for children with continence needs in health and education settings.

We begin working with your family by using our starter pack which helps us better understand your circumstances.

Starter pack

This includes baseline fluid and elimination charts and assessments.

See our information resource on Positive thinking about continence promotion for children and young people.

Useful links

Support for families of children with bladder and bowel problems

Help your child to stop bedwetting



Getting enough sleep is essential for our physical, emotional and mental well-being.Ā  Sleep deprivation can affect our attention, concentration, memory, behaviour, makes us feel anxious, irritable, overactive, aggressive and depressed.

Looking after a child who has a sleep problem can be exhausting and have a significant impact on them and the whole family. We provide the tools to help everyone get a better nightā€™s sleep.

Once we have completed your child’s initial assessment, we’ll arrange to visit you, or invite you to attend parent consultations. We can also offer support over the phone or sometimes via e-mail or by post.

All our nurses have completed sleep practitioner training and can provide useful advice and resources.

We begin working with your family by using our starter pack which helps us better understand your circumstances.

Useful links for further advice

Positive thinking about sleep management in children

Tools and tips on how to sleep better from the Sleep Council

Sleep advice and resources from Cerebra



It’s vital to involve you and your child’s carers if we want children and young people to embrace a healthy lifestyle. We can provide you with food diaries for your child and talk to you about making small changes to your childā€™s diet. We can also refer your to our Nutrition and Dietetics team.

Community dietitians look at health promotion, clinical work or a mixture of both. They promote healthy food choices to prevent disease by increasing awareness of the link between nutrition and health.

We can visit schools and carry out health promotion with children targeting specific projects such as healthy eating, self-care and hygiene. We can also provide healthy lifestyle packs.

Useful link

Healthy eating recipes, advice and activity habits


We visit schools and work with children and young people on topics such as puberty, growing up, sexual health and stranger danger. We also work with other organisations to provide help and advice to enhance independence skills and keep young people safe in the community.

We work with the Terence Higgins Trust and in communities doing outreach work. We raise awareness, hand out leaflets, distribute condoms and talk to young people about how to protect themselves and their partners, and prevent the spread of HIV and other STIs.



Flu can be an unpleasant illness often lasting a few days.

Children who have complex health needs may need to stay in hospital for management and treatment of severe symptoms. It’s vital that these children have the flu vaccination as a priority.

Children mostly have the flu vaccination as a nasal spray.

Find out more about your child’s vaccinations

Find out more about your child's flu vaccine [PDF, 603KB] and what to expect. You may find it helpful to download and show this to your child.


Our sexual health clinic teams screen and treat patients with sexually transmitted infections including HIV. They also provideĀ  contraception care and advice and run specialist clinics for HIV care, coil and implant fitting and complex genital problems.

Find out more about our sexual health clinics



Community Nurses Team, Children with a Learning Disability