NVLD looks like just a bunch of letters or an acronym to some but to me those four letters have been part of my vocabulary since high school. Once I knew what they stood for I never stopped using them or trying to get the awareness out about Nonverbal Learning Disability (NVLD).
NVLD is something I have struggled with since elementary school but did not know what it was at the time. Ever since I can remember math, numbers, organizing myself (executive functioning), and navigating social cues/settings did not come easy. My parents knew something was off but could not place their finger on it. No one in my family struggled with learning as much as I did in those areas listed above. It wasn’t until I was failing math in elementary, middle, and high school and was struggling socially that my parents realized there could be something more causing the problem. They looked up learning disabilities but no of the ones they came across matched my difficulties except dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is a brain-based condition that makes it hard to make sense of numbers and math concepts. Some kids with dyscalculia can’t grasp basic number concepts. When my academics did not improve and I had increasing difficulty staying organized I started the process of getting evaluated for a learning disability. At the end of my evaluation I was diagnosed with as having Learning Disability: Not Otherwise Specifies (LD:NOS) becauseI did not fit under one particular diagnosis. My results yielded a discrepancy between my verbal (high) and processing/perceptual skills (low). Now LD: NOS is referred to as a Specific Learning Disability (SD). Specific Learning Disability is used as a diagnosis for individuals who have a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes. Even back in high school I felt that what I was struggling with all of these years had to have a name.
In college I came across NVLD and had an aha moment! Everything I struggled with was listed there and I was overjoyed! This is what I had my whole life! I have found out what it is, it’s definition, and strategies to cope with the disability. The happiness was soon replaced by sadness because I learned that it is not listed in the DSMV. There was no way I could get an actually diagnosis! This frustrated me because there are other children, teens, and adults facing similar struggles as me and unable to get answers or help
I felt that it was time to be open with what I have been struggling and trying to mask from friends and family for a long time. There is not much awareness for Non Verbal Learning Disability as there is for Dyslexia etc. NVLD is not even in the latest DSM-V manual! So the only label that someone can receive is Specific Learning Disability. I want to bring awareness to the public about NVLD! The more knowledgeable people are the more helpful they can be! Also, most importantly is for NVLD to be included in the DSM-V so people an have an actual diagnosis!
**Keep your eye out for more posts regarding NVLD and NVLD resources**