Ask Dr. Silver
The following are past questions and answers from Dr. Larry Silver on this topic.
What does the term "non-verbal learning disability" mean?
I have a 14-year-old son who was diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age. Just recently he was diagnosed with having a nonverbal learning disability as well.
I would like to know if there are any good books or other material available that specifically can explain the relationship between these two seemingly opposing disabilities.
I was told that although he is getting straight A's now, it is certain he will "crash" in high school. I am deeply concerned for my child's self esteem and would like any recommendations you can make to direct me to publications that specifically address the self esteem issues of a teenager with my sons specific learning disabilities.
Thank you for your kind attention,
The term, Nonverbal Learning Disability is used in two different ways in some literature.
Most learning disabilities are "language-based." This means that problems with phonological skills result in the reading, writing, or other disabilities. Some students have problems with fine motor skills (grapho-motor skills) and with organization and executive function skills. They often do not show language-based problems. This group is referred to as having a nonverbal learning disability.
What is confusing is that children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders may also have problems with motor, organization, and executive function skills. However, they also have many other problems.
As you read material, be sure to check if NLD is used as a type of Learning Disability or is used as if it refers to children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. What is important is that you find help for your son. If it relates to writing, organization, and executive function and your school will not help, you may need to find someone privately who is skilled in these areas.