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Non Verbal Learning Disability

Many people think of “Learning Disability” as an issue with verbal skills such as reading or writing but what if your child has strong verbal skills but doesn’t understand when somebody is being sarcastic. What if the child reads at an advanced level but can’t tell you the most important parts of the story these are the classic signs of NVLD. NVLD is a term coined by Myklebust to describe children with disturbed social relationship, poor social skills, difficulty in interpreting the meaning of actions of others, arithmetic deficit and functional difficulties such as distinguishing right from left, telling time, reading maps and following directions.
Unlike kids with language-based LD, like dyslexia,kids with NVLD have trouble understanding communication that is not verbal, but body language, tone of voice or facial expressions. Some children with NVLD have good language skills but they have trouble sorting through information and understanding bigger concepts. They may not have issues with written or spoken language. But they may think in literal terms and miss subtle non-verbal cues.
One of the most debilitating practical features of NVLD syndrome is the extent of social impairments. Because much of social communication is non-verbal involving body language, facial expression and tone of voice. Social judgement and social problem solving are also impaired. NVLD lack adaptability functioning. They respond poorly to non-verbal situations.
NVLD co-exist with Asperger’s Syndrome. NVLD symptoms may also co-exist with ADHD.
OT –
May be necessary to develop fine motor and visual motor integration skills.
Speech Therapy - It can be helpful in the early stages.
Social scale groups – Maybe recommended to cultivate social awareness, teach non-verbal behaviour, encourage self-evaluation and promote specific problem-solving strategies.
CBT – It can be a vital component of a plan to help the child coping techniques. Because of the variability of individual strengths and weakness, some NVLD children may benefit from a self – contained special education class. While others should remain in a regular education class with support service.