What Is Nonverbal Learning Disabilities?

With regards to spatial and social abilities, people with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD) struggle. As a result of this, people with NVLD can talk and read at a level that is adequate for their age, but they struggle in areas that are not directly related to verbal abilities.

According to Columbia University’s research, NVLD may be linked to the way the brain interprets information about an object’s size, shape, and location in space (spatial processing).

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NVLD is distinct from other types of learning disorders because of its difficulty with spatial processing. The term “nonverbal learning disability” implies that a lack of verbal capabilities characterizes the illness, yet this is not the case.

Identification and Classification of Dyslexia without Verbal Expression

However, researchers are currently working to define and characterize NVLD, which first emerged in the scientific literature in the 1960s.

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The fact that researchers and clinicians who work with people with learning disabilities are still examining what is known about NVLD does not mean that it is new or suddenly appears. Their research’s main objective is to determine the disorder’s distinctiveness and recognizability to those who do evaluations.

To have the illness recognized in the DSM, researchers are working on a definition and criteria for NVLD, which would be an important step in the process (DSM).

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Physical and occupational therapy could be more readily available for those with NVLD once they were officially recognized as having the disorder. Additionally, parents of children with NVLD may find it easier to get resources at school.

As a result of current research and the proposed DSM criteria, we’ve compiled this list of NVLD traits and characteristics.

NVLD Signs and Symptoms

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The following symptoms frequently accompany NVLD:

  • One symptom of this problem is poor bodily awareness, which can manifest as clumsiness due to a person’s inability to align their body with their surroundings properly. This could also result from being too close or far away from another person.
  • Spatial processing issues make it challenging for drivers to comprehend directions or their location in relation to their surroundings.
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  • Effective communication: They have a good vocabulary or a great vocabulary. Although they may be able to memorize many words, they may not be able to decipher what they mean. A story’s significance and important themes may be difficult for them to grasp despite their ability to read the words on the page.
  • Problems with spatial or visual-spatial processing, such as trouble determining the size, shape, or position of things, are common. Putting puzzles together or carrying out practical construction tasks may be challenging.

Additional Signs and Symptoms

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Aside from these, other symptoms of NVLD include:

Due to their challenges with spatial vision, students with NVLD have a particularly difficult time in the classroom distinguishing between distinct objects for counting or visualizing quantities and directions in math problems. Reading difficulties may not arise until later grades, when reading comprehension rather than word decoding is prioritized. A child with NVLD may not show their difficulties until they are in third grade or later if they have a good command of the English language.

While they may empathize with others, they frequently have difficulties understanding humor or more abstract communication. When it comes to them, they tend to take things too literally.

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Individuals with NVLD may have difficulty remaining on task, following long sets of instructions, or organizing their materials. Executive functioning issues At this moment, it’s not apparent if these problems are the result of NVLD itself, or if they’re different problems that frequently occur along with it.

Children with NVLD may have difficulty doing fine motor tasks, such as writing, cutting with scissors, or tying their shoes.

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For example, a lack of fine-motor skills can make it difficult to change one’s clothes. Toilet training may be delayed as a result.

Problems in processing shape, direction, and size make it difficult to identify subtle changes in body language or other non-verbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions.

The Best Ways to Find Assistance

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Start by talking to your child’s doctor if you suspect your youngster has NVLD. However, even if NVLD isn’t yet a completely acknowledged diagnosis, it’s important to bring it up with your child’s doctor.

Your child’s symptoms may have a medical basis rather than being the result of a learning issue, which a doctor can determine. The symptoms of autism spectrum diseases, dyscalculia, and ADHD can all be ruled out by specialists.

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In order to support your child’s success, it’s critical to understand what they will need at home and at school if they have a learning disability. Children with NVLD, for example, may need extra help developing social skills. A child’s chances for friendship and self-esteem are boosted due to working on these skills.

Children with NVLD may also experience anxiety or depression, which parents should be aware of. NVLD sufferers can benefit from developing good coping mechanisms, such as learning how to reduce stress, relax, and recognize their positive qualities.

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