Thoughts on Families and Other Issues and NLD
In my case, sibling jealousy of the attention that
my mother gave me was a problem. She was the only one in my family who could see that I had a learning
disability and needed help. I had been diagnosed with a motoric learning disability at the age of 6 back
in the early 1970's. My mother was the one who helped me with my homework, helped me organize my things, got
me involved in many different extra curricular activities, and provided me with a great deal of
emotional support. However, my siblings were often upset that I was provided with so much attention. I
come from a family where I am the oldest of 6 children, so it is amazing all the things my mother
did to help me while growing up. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me without this support
from my mother.
In terms of misinterpreting situations, I think that this is fairly common among NLD individuals. I have a tendency to be very sensitive to what people are saying, and misinterpret it. In terms of the nonverbal cues, one area which is difficult for me is tone of voice. Sometimes I will misinterpret a person as being angry with me, when this is not the case.
It is important for parents to continue to tell their child that he/she is a wonderful person, and that you have confidence in his/her abilities. One thing that my mother did for me was to instill in me that I was capable of succeeding. Even though the world was a rough place as a child and I was being picked on and beaten up by so many people, my mother continue to show emotional support for me.
I think that the belief that I could be successful may have played a major role in choosing to attend college at Michigan State University, which is 650 miles from where I live in New Jersey.
One piece of advice that I would give to parents would be to directly point out to your child what s/he is doing well. When s/he succeeds at accomplishing something, tell him/her specifically what s/he did well. I have a tendency to see all the details, including the negatives of the situation, and miss the big picture. I may have done well overall, but I have a tendency to focus on my mistakes. Help your child in seeing the big picture. NLD individuals have tremendous strengths and can accomplish many wonderful things. Sometimes they need help in seeing what they have accomplished.