from Growing Up With NLD

by Deborah Green

The field of Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NLD) is relatively new. In the past, researchers have focused on severe cases of this disorder, discussing the poor prognosis for adults who grow up without any kind of treatment or intervention.  Thankfully, as educators and psychologists become more aware of NLD, children are getting diagnosed at an early age and are getting the treatments and interventions that they need to succeed in school and in
life. When reading literature about NLD, it is important to remember that the traits associated with NLD run on a spectrum from mild to severe. Not all people with NLD have all the traits. And the pattern that these traits present is different in every child and every adult with NLD. Some people with NLD have excellent social skills or excel at sports. Other people with NLD have strong senses of humor and the ability to understand abstract reasoning. There are many people with NLD who don't speak in a monotone or have trouble with reading comprehension.

In the past, researchers have focused on worse case scenarios, but receiving a diagnosis of NLD is not a death sentence. With NLD, there will always be some inherent struggle, but people with NLD are known for their patience, persistence, and dedication. People with NLD are also honest, loyal, and dependable, and these traits help them succeed in life.

To truly help people with NLD, it is important to remember to treat them as individuals. Each person with NLD is a person before he/she is a statistic. And programs geared towards helping people with NLD need to emphasize their strengths, as well as compensate for their weaknesses. People with NLD can achieve anything. There are many people with NLD who hold advanced graduate degrees. Others are happily married with friends and children. Others have stable jobs and positions of responsibility. One man with NLD is even a world class squash player.

Help people with NLD pursue their dreams, for with hard work and dedication, they can reach their highest goals.

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