Learning resources for medical students and trainees

We've collated a number of resources for medical students, trainees and psychiatrists in intellectual disability psychiatry.

Please note, although we have selected useful resources, where links direct to external websites, the Faculty cannot be responsible for content.

These resources are under continuous review and development. If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute to the resources yourself please contact Dr Sonya Rudra and Dr Abigail Swift via kitti.kottasz@rcpsych.ac.uk.

Topic guide by the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: This topic guide has been created to describe what an Intellectual Disability (ID) is, the historical influences, the terminology issues and the diagnostic criteria. It outlines how an ID is suspected and identified and also the areas to consider when creating a care plan. It includes an alphabetical framework to assist professionals in screening for and identifying an Intellectual Disability.

What is a learning disability? Video from Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust

Medical student university presentation on Learning Disabilities

Oxford Textbook of the Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability (Oxford Textbooks in Psychiatry) by Sabayasachi Bhaumik and Regi Alexander | 13 Mar 2020: Excellent book with an overall of most topics within Intellectual Disabilities

Series of articles for people new to ID hosted by the University of Hertfordshire

MindEd contains programmes comprehensive learning resources about learning disabilities including physical, mental health, epilepsy.

Royal College of Psychiatrists e-learning modules includes courses on intellectual disabilities and people with intellectual disabilities in criminal justice settings. 

E-learning for healthcare includes a module on Intellectual Disability and Depression (IDD).

NICE guideline [NG11] Challenging behaviour and learning disabilities: prevention and interventions for people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges

NICE guideline [NG93] Learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges: service design and delivery

Supporting people with a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition: Service model for commissioners of health and social care services. October 2015

NHS England National Plan – Building the right support: gives commissioners a clear framework to develop more community services for people with learning disabilities and/ or autism who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition, and close some inpatient facilities.

An introduction to Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), a BILD (British Instititute of Learning Disabilities) video

PBS information from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation

Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP), NHS initiative

Patient information leaflets around medication which include easy read information, Choice and Medication

The Spectrom Project: an alternative to medication. Resources around easy read leaflets for medication, STOMP and other tools reduced to reducing medication

Research papers

Sheehan R, Hassiotis A, Walters K, Osborn D, Strydom A, Horsfall L et al. Mental illness, challenging behaviour, and psychotropic drug prescribing in people with intellectual disability: UK population based cohort study BMJ 2015; 351 :h4326 doi:10.1136/bmj.h4326

Sheehan R, Strydom A, Morant N, Pappa E, Hassiotis A. Psychotropic prescribing in people with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour BMJ 2017; 358 :j3896 doi:10.1136/bmj.j3896

Bowring DL, Totsika V, Hastings RP, Toogood S, McMahon M. Prevalence of psychotropic medication use and association with challenging behaviour in adults with an intellectual disability. A total population study. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2017 Jun;61(6):604-617. doi: 10.1111/jir.12359. Epub 2017 Jan 16. PMID: 28090687.

Sabayasachi Bhaumik “The Frith Prescribing Guidelines for People with Intellectual Disability”, 3rd Edition. Excellent textbook with summarising research guidelines for People with Intellectual Disability.

CR230 College Report: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults with intellectual disability, February 2021

PsychStudent video: This video gives an overview of ASD and LD (and the difference) then considers two potentially difficult scenarios with management tips which are particularly relevant to student OSCE or CASC examinations.

Notes and videos for students on neurodevelopmental disorders (includes ADHD, Autism and LD)

Free online ADHD courses, ADHD Forum

Information about genetic syndromes,The Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes (SSBP)

UNIQUE genetic disorders syndromes sheets

Waite, Jane & Heald, Mary & Wilde, Lucy & Woodcock, Kate & Welham, Alice & Adams, Dawn & Oliver, Chris. (2014). The importance of understanding the behavioural phenotypes of genetic syndromes associated with intellectual disability. Paediatrics and Child Health. 24. 10.1016/j.paed.2014.05.002.

Talbot J. No One Knows: Offenders with learning disabilities and learning difficulties. Int J Prison Health. 2009;5(3):141-52. doi: 10.1080/17449200903115797. PMID: 25757420.

Faculty Report FR/ID/04: Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability and Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry; Forensic care pathways for adults with intellectual disability involved with the criminal justice system, February 2014

Radiant: various resources for people with an intellectual disability with offending behaviour including past recorded webinars

Cases discussed with experts from Court of Protection including cases of people with intellectual disability 

Epilepsy charity website with general free courses 

International League Against Epilepsy has many resources about epilepsy and also about learning disabilities within epilepsy

The Faculty and the British Psychological Society produced this resource in 2015 to provide guidance on the assessment, diagnosis, interventions and support of people with intellectual disabilities who develop dementia. It is for those working in clinical and social care and aims to improve quality of life for people with a learning disability who develop dementia. 

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