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Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

"The term Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NLD) can be quite confusing.  At first blush, you might think that individuals with this disability are nonverbal.  Just the opposite -- these kids may actually talk your ear off.  Nonverbal Learning Disabilities means that the primary areas of deficit are in the nonverbal domains.  NLD is considered a syndrome, meaning that the disability is comprised of a cluster of skill deficits which impact virtually every aspect of the individual's life." Pamela Tanguay and Byron P. Rourke, Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at Home: A Parent's Guide

See also ...
bulletAD/HD and Executive Function
bulletAsperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
bulletAuditory Processing (APD / CAPD)
bulletDyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia
bulletOppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
bulletSensory Integration (SI)
bulletVisual Processing
bulletTwice Exceptional
bulletTwice Exceptional in College
bullet2e Products and 2e Books
bullet2e = Exceptional Squared!

Helping a Child With Nonverbal Learning Disorder or Asperger's Disorder: A Parent's Guide Recommended by Kathryn Stewart
Offers ways to evaluate a child's strengths and weaknesses in areas such as visual and spatial functioning, writing problems, information processing and organizational skills, social and emotional capabilities, language skills, and interactive abilities, and specific strategies for intervening and helping the child to cope with these obstacles...
Introducing... Ocelot Recommended by Ocelot's Mom
There are a few people in this world who can be described as a "force of Nature." Ocelot is one of those people. It is impossible to work with Ocelot for very long and not be changed by the experience. The purpose of this document is to give adults a crash-course in understanding Ocelot...  Because her abilities show when she speaks, some people expect Ocelot to do superior work with little assistance, be a "self-starter" and to learn on her own. In Ocelot's case, this is not true...
Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses Of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, And Other Disorders Recommended by James T. Webb, Edward R. Amend, Nadia E. Webb, Jean Goerss, Paul Beljan, F. Richard Olenchak, and Sharon Lind
Physicians, psychologist, and counselors are unaware of characteristics of gifted children and adults that mimic pathological diagnoses. Six nationally prominent health care professionals describe ways parents and professionals can distinguish between gifted behaviors and pathological behaviors...  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
Nonverbal Learning Disorders Recommended by Sue Thompson
We are all familiar with "non-verbal communication," but few professionals have been specifically trained to look for deficits in this area. Although intelligence measures are designed to evaluate both the verbal and nonverbal aspects of intelligence, educators tend to ignore evidence of nonverbal deficiencies in students. Or worse, they brand students with nonverbal learning disabilities as "problem" children...
Take Control of Asperger's Syndrome: The Official Strategy Guide for Teens With Asperger's Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorders Recommended by Janet Price and Jennifer Engel Fisher (or from Amazon)
A unique handbook for kids and teens on living successful lives with these disorders by taking control of their strengths to overcome their weaknesses, including tips on understanding the disorders, living with the symptoms, succeeding in school, completing homework, talking to others about strengths and needs, making friends and socializing, and using technology to connect with other kids and teens with these disorders. Includes ideas, information, and advice for students, by students just like them...
Bridging the Gap: Raising a Child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder by  Rondalyn Varney Whitney
Millions of children suffer from Nonverbal Learning Disorder, a neurological deficit that prevents them from understanding nonverbal cues like tone of voice and facial expression. Though they are exceptionally bright and extremely articulate, these children often have difficulty in social situations-and can become depressed, withdrawn, or anxious. In Bridging the Gap, Rondalyn Varney Whitney-a pediatric occupational therapist and the parent of a child with NLD-offers practical suggestions that will help parents put their child on the path to a happy, fulfilling life...
Developing an Educational Plan for the Student with NLD by  Sue Thompson
Programs which address both academic and social competencies achieve the most success. The child's individualized educational program should not merely focus on academic growth, but should also stress compensatory strategies which will assist her future academic progress by enlarging her repertoire of coping mechanisms. In other words, the educational program for this student should be aimed at preparing her to succeed in the future by maximizing her potential today...
In a Pickle And Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban
Useful in a classroom setting or as a browser's delight.  Especially useful for teaching our kids the intended meanings of these common but peculiar phrases.  Other useful titles include Mad as a Wet Hen!: And Other Funny Idioms Punching the Clock: Funny Action Idioms, and It Figures!: Fun Figures of Speech.  Or get the big collection: Scholastic Dictionary Of Idioms
It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success by Richard Lavoie
Guidebook to helping children with learning disabilities overcome social skill deficits. Eschewing sink-or-swim and carrot-and-stick approaches, Lavoie stresses communication and patience for parents looking to guide their children through the maze of social interactions encountered daily... 
NLDline Nonverbal learning disorders (NLD)
NLD is a neurological syndrome consisting of specific assets and deficits; the assets include early speech and vocabulary development, remarkable rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development and excellent spelling skills
The Nonverbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues David B. Givens
From Adam's-Apple-Jump to Zygomatic Smile, items in this Dictionary have been researched by anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists, linguists, psychiatrists, psychologists, semioticians, and others who have studied human communication from a scientific point of view
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at Home: A Parent's Guide by Pamela Tanguay and Byron P. Rourke
Do you know a child who is bright, charming and articulate, but has no friends? A child who showed early signs of intelligence, but is now floundering, academically and emotionally? Children with NLD are an enigma. They're children with extraordinary gifts and heartbreaking challenges that go far beyond the classroom. Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at Home explores the variety of daily life problems children with NLD may face, and provides practical strategies for parents to help them cope and grow, from preschool age through their challenging adolescent years...
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at School: Educating Students with NLD, Asperger Syndrome and Related Conditions by Pamela B. Tanguay and Sue Thompson
In this companion book to her successful Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at Home, Pamela Tanguay addresses issues related to the academic education of the child with NLD and related conditions. Topics such as school placement, program modifications, and social/emotional issues are covered, as well as specific teaching strategies, from how to deal with essay questions, to tips on helping the student master long division, and ideas for improving reading comprehension. The author defines and discusses concepts such as frontloading and a cooperative learning environment, and explains how they benefit the student with NLD and related conditions...
Nonverbal Learning Disability: How to Recognize It and Minimize Its Effects by Jean M. Foss
Because of their verbal strengths, many individuals with NLD succeed in formal educational situations. However, if their social competence has not developed commensurately, they may not find and keep employment at the level for which their education has prepared them.  Because individuals with NLD make considerable progress in areas of weakness when instruction is appropriate, accurate diagnosis and appropriate instruction can have great benefit for their lives...
Nonverbal Learning Disorders Association (NLDA)
Articles, resources, symposium, and more...
The Source for Nonverbal Learning Disabilities by Sue Thompson
Originally titled "I Shouldn't Have To Tell You!" The Source is the first practical information available concerning Nonverbal Learning disabilities...
The Stages of Acceptance of Nonverbal Learning Disability by Peter Flom
There are, I think, four stages of acceptance of nonverbal learning disability (NLD). Some of this may be true for other LDs, or for other disabilities, but I know most about NLD. 
bullet1. There's nothing wrong with me, there must be something wrong with you! 
bullet2. There's something wrong with me. Life stinks. 
bullet3. There's something wrong with me. You deal with it. 
bullet4. There's something wrong with me, I better deal with it. 
For short (and for the sake of alliteration), one might call these stages denial, depression, display, and dealing...
Students with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities by  Jean M. Foss

Statements like the following are often true of individuals with a nonverbal learning disability:
bulletThey talk a lot but really say very little.
bulletThey see the "trees" not the "forest."
bulletThey focus on details, do not apprehend the main idea.
bulletThey do not "see the whole picture."
bulletThey do not "read" facial expressions, gestures, or other nonverbal aspects of communication; they miss the subtleties, nuances.
bulletThey may be inappropriate in their social interactions.
bulletThey have few friends; friendships tend to be with older or younger persons rather than peers.
bulletThey tend to process information in a linear, sequential fashion, not seeing multiple dimensions.
bulletIn spite of relative strength in sequencing or recalling sequences, they may confuse abstract temporal concepts; they have significant difficulty recognizing cause-effect relationships.
bulletThey frequently "shut down" when faced with pressure to perform; such pressure might come from too many simultaneous demands, from tasks which seem too complex, or from expectations to perform at a rate which seems too rapid.
bulletAs adults they tend to be underemployed relative to their educational experiences.

Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron
Grandin and Barron address the social challenges those with autism and Asperger's face, explaining in the process how confusing and illogical normal societal rules can be. They also address the "unwritten rules" that most children understand instinctively but are a mystery to those on the spectrum. They teach how to trust feelings, be assertive in a positive way, and deal with negative people and situations...

Last updated December 01, 2020

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