General Learning Disabilities

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Students with general learning disabilities (GLD) comprise the largest group with additional needs in our schools; it is therefore crucial that teachers and schools are prepared to recognize and respond to their special educational needs. This course is designed to equip educators with the knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure these students reach their full potential. The content of this course has been revised and updated in 2021.

About the course

This specialised course has been developed by ICEP Europe in collaboration with a panel of educators and other practitioners working in the field of learning disabilities. Students with general learning disabilities (GLD) comprise the largest group with additional learning needs in schools today. They may have a recognized disability, such as Fragile X, Down syndrome, or the cause may be unknown as is the case for many students with mild GLD. Intellectual, social and adaptive functioning mature at a slower rate and self-esteem can also be an issue.

The main focus of this course is to build the capacity of educators to provide quality educational experiences to support students with GLD. This means creating inclusive learning environments and providing differentiated instruction that builds on each child’s strengths and talents. From the developmental implications of various general learning disabilities, to specific strategies for enhancing teaching and learning across the age range, this practical course will boost your knowledge and confidence and give you an in-depth understanding of effective instructional approaches, differentiation, behaviour support, collaboration and individual educational planning for students with GLD.

Who is this course aimed at?

This course is aimed at teachers and others with a professional interest in general learning disabilities. It may also be helpful for parents interested in learning about appropriate educational provision for their own children.

Approved by the Department of Education

This course is approved by the Department of Education.

Three EPV days will be allowed for primary school teachers who take the course during the summer term. Please note this provision applies only to the summer term as per Department guidelines.

This course has four terms each year, Spring, May/June, Summer & Autumn.

Designed for educators in a broad range of settings from preschool to further education, there is a strong emphasis on practical evidence-based approaches, which are directly applicable in the classroom, and in the whole-school context. The course also provides an overview of emerging values and themes in the education of children with general learning disabilities. The topics include best practice guidelines for inclusion, level of functioning and learning profiles of students with general learning disabilities, the differentiated curriculum, supporting students with differing levels of learning disability, promoting choice and autonomy, helping students build life skills, working with parents as partners, and developing individual education plans for children and young people with general learning disabilities.

Taking a developmental perspective, this course looks in detail at the areas of language, communication, social, emotional, and academic skills as they arise in children with GLD and how these impact on school performance. Drawing on international best practice and the latest research, this course offers you a wealth of practical resources, lesson plans and teaching techniques for addressing barriers to learning and participation. You will acquire a working knowledge of specific teaching strategies in the areas of numeracy, literacy, language and communication, motor skills, and social and emotional skills. In addition, you will be encouraged to develop and implement best practice approaches and policies at the level of the classroom and in your own school in relation to supporting children with GLD.


  • Learn how to assess the learning profiles of students with general learning disabilities.
  • Develop a working knowledge of specific teaching strategies in the areas of language and communication, and numeracy and literacy for students with GLD.
  • Learn how to develop Individualised Education Plans (IEPs) for your students
  • Learn how to promote choice and autonomy and build life-skills.
  • Develop your skills for differentiating curriculum and adapting instruction
  • Enjoy rich opportunities for collaboration with our online network of learners and tutors.
  • Save printable course materials and resources for future reference.

Interactive Learning Assignments accompany each module. Each student is also required to complete a Reflective Assignment as well as a CPD record.

On completion, you will receive a Certificate of Continuing Professional Development and a Learning Log of your work, which can be included in your CPD portfolio.

All of our tutors specialise in the area of learning disabilities and will provide you with one-to-one guidance as you complete your studies online.

Technical support is provided by our dedicated team of qualified learning technologists, who are available to assist you by telephone or email.



4 July - 26 August 2022


18th August 2022

Summer Term
4th July to 26th August 2022

20 hours of self paced study any time during the term

Certificate of CPD ** Summer term fully approved for EPV days for Primary Teachers**



Identification and Effective Interventions