RESOURCES: Understanding Trauma in People with Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities

Man sitting on floor holding head in his hands

Trauma has been described as an experience that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has produced traumatic effects in many people, particularly on those with severe and profound learning disabilities, who are generally at higher risk of trauma than others. Understanding the neurobiological responses to trauma may elucidate which experiential strategies could be used to support people with severe and profound learning disabilities who may have experienced trauma. In particular, trauma can lead to the loss of one’s sense of safety, so restoring this sense of safety can be crucial in supporting recovery.

This article, published in Learning Disability Practice details some of the potential signs and symptoms of trauma and describes some of its effects on the mind, brain and body. It also explores strategies that learning disability nurses can use to assist people with severe and profound learning disabilities to recover from trauma.

NAC also deliver training on supporting children and adults with severe and profound intellectual disabilities affected by trauma both in service and online. Contact us for more information or find out about our on demand trauma course here.

Calveley J (2021) Understanding and managing trauma in people with severe and profound learning disabilities. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2165

Link to article source


The author would like to thank Dr Megan Cowles, clinical psychologist, for reviewing the article before submission

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software