Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD)
Nonverbal learning disorders (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. In addition, these individuals have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently. Moreover, persons with NLD have strong auditory retention. Four major categories of deficits and dysfunction also present themselves.
Lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with graphomotor skills
Lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, difficulties with executive functioning (the brain's ability to absorb information, interpret this information, and make decisions based on this information), and problems with spatial relations
Lack of ability to comprehend nonverbal communication, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction
Sensitivity in any of the sensory modes: visual, auditory, tactile, taste, or olfactory
Foss (2004) reports that statements like the following are often true of individuals with a nonverbal learning disability.
- They talk a lot but really say very little.
- They see the trees, not the forest.
- They focus on details, but do not apprehend the main idea.
- They do not see the whole picture.
- They do not "read" facial expressions, gestures, nor other nonverbal aspects of communication; they miss the subtleties, nuances.
- They may be inappropriate in their social interactions.
- They have few friends; friendships tend to be with older or younger persons rather than peers.
- They tend to process information in a linear, sequential fashion, not seeing multiple dimensions.
- In spite of relative strength in sequencing or recalling sequences, they may confuse abstract temporal concepts; they have significant difficulty recognizing cause–effect relationships. (NLD Online, 2004)
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