There is a range of professions, including physiotherapist, dietitian, and podiatrist, collectively referred to as the allied health professions.
There are 14 professions, and this site explores the six that can specialise in working with people with a learning disability.
These professions are: occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, dietitian, podiatrist, and art, music, or drama therapist.
The different allied health professions
Podiatrists are experts in all aspects of the foot and lower limb function and health. Working across all health and care settings, their primary aim is to manage people’s health, mobility, and independence. They are trained to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and prevent anomalies of the feet, ankles and lower limbs. They also prevent, manage and correct foot irregularities, relieve pain, treat infection, and keep people of all ages mobile and active. Podiatrists support people with learning disabilities with foot complications, often resulting from structural, joint, or gait conditions that can result in reduced or restricted mobility.
Occupational therapists work with children and adults who have a learning disability to help them take part in the daily activities (occupations) that are important to them at home, at school, at work, and in the community. Occupational therapists enhance people’s independence and life opportunities by developing their skills and adapting activities or the environment to better suit an individual’s needs.
Dietitians work with individuals, care/support teams, families, and groups to enable people to manage their nutrition and food-related issues to improve their health. Dietitians assess, diagnose, and treat dietary and nutritional problems, using advanced communication and behaviour change skills to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
Dietitians working with people with learning disabilities support a varied range of dietetic needs, including nutritional support, enteral feeding, and weight management.
Physiotherapy is a science-based profession and takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle.
At the core is the patient’s involvement in their own care, through education, awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment.
You can benefit from physiotherapy at any time in your life. Physiotherapy helps with back pain or sudden injury, falls management and prevention, mobility, rehabilitation after surgery, managing long-term medical condition such as asthma, cerebral palsy, dementia, etc
Physiotherapists help people of all ages.
Why become an allied health professional?
Allied health professionals work with people throughout their entire lives. They work with people to improve their health and wellbeing as a whole.
They work alongside the individual and really get to know them to help prevent illness and to ensure that the individual lives a full and active life in all aspects of their life, whether that’s at home, in their social circles, at school, or at work.
Where allied health professionals can work
Allied health professionals work in a variety of settings: hospitals, schools, in people’s homes, and in their own practices.