Adults with LD or ADHD

nonverbal learning disorder?

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Joined: Jun 06, 2009
Posts: 5
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Posted Dec 03, 2010 at 1:56:08 AM
Subject: nonverbal learning disorder?

Hello, I am a college student who was diagnosed with ADHD innatentive type when I was in elementary school. I struggled in school a lot when I was younger but recieved a lot of extra help and that coupled with a lot of determination and hard work has allowed me to be successful in school starting around my sophomore year of high school. While I definitely agree with the ADHD diagnosis, I still have a lot of difficulties that are not related to ADHD. I have always felt like I have something else but could never put my finger on it. I was retested last year to see if I have something else but they said i did not. I saw that their was a 31 point difference between my verbal and performance iq and this seemed odd so i did some research and found out about nonverbal learning disabilities. I am now in upper level major courses in my college and am no longer above average on many assignments in class now that they are not just simple papers and multiple choice tests(i have an excelent memory). I am spending 40 or more hours a week at the library and really don't have time for anything but class, studying and about 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. here is a list of things difficulties i have(i excluded the ADHD ones because that would take forever). If anyone knows anything about Nonverbal learning disabilities i would really appreciate any advice you have.
-31 point difference between verbal and performance IQ (performance 89, verbal 120)
-one main problem is i take things too literally. i am told this frequently. in upper level college courses that require more higher level thinking this is becoming a big problem. i frequently am confused on what the essay prompt or question is asking and take the directions very literally
-i also tend to take jokes and things people say very literally and miss sarcasm
-i have definite social interaction problems
-group conversations are a problem for me. i can never figure out when to jump in. i tend to talk over people and when i do speak people often cut me off. i can never figure out how to jump into conversations and after a few tries i give up and zone out.
-i just cannot talk around people i don't know or in big group settings where i don't know many people. i have to be comfortable around people to be myself
-I am bad a small talk
-i never know if you should say hi to someone or not and don't want to be rejected so i avoid running into people that i am not sure if they will say hi or not
-i have never had a lot of friends and have difficulty keeping friends for a long time although recently i have made a good group of friends and for the first time i have a "normal" sized circle of great friends who i hope to keep
-i often talk about things i am interested in a lot and don't know when to stop. when i call home my mom says i never let her speak and it is like a monologue. i have very specific interest areas and this is how i have gotten such a good group of friends because i met them in a club and we all are very passionate about the same thing
-i avoid phone calls
-i hate hugs
-this is all i can think of regarding social issues at the moment but i believe there is more
-i tend to have a very good memory
-i can picture events vagly but remember what is said a lot better and have a very good memory for events and such
-i do great on multiple choice tests cause i can remember things very well
-math takes me a very long time and although i can memorize the steps and enjoy math where you follow a specific pattern i can't apply or understand the concept well
-i have a lot of trouble with transitions
-i don't like change and definitely have a routine i like to follow
-i like to have things planned as opposed to doing things sponaniously
-my hand writing is very bad
-i have trouble understand what is written often and have to re read problems and sentences several times
-i am very detail oriented

I just have no idea how to go about being tested for this and I don't know if it is even worth it to be tested. Why didn't the people bring this up or notice the huge gap between my verbal and performance iq last time i was tested?

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Joined May 25, 2018
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Posted:Dec 04, 2010 12:22:54 AM

Welcome to LDOnline. You seem to really know yourself -- both your strengths and weaknesses. That is half the battle. What you will want to concentrate on is how to utilize your strengths and use compensatory stratgeties to minimize any areas of difficulty.

Not sure what department it is called at your University, but have you spoken to Disability Resource Center or ADA office about accommodations and/or compensatory strategies for meeting these challenges?

What would getting identified at this point provide for you? Would it allow you additional accommodations? Are there any other benefit to being identified at this point in time?

Perhaps talking to a professional might help you come up with some practical suggestions that could help you to improve your conversational/ listening/ social skils. Some skill must be learned explicitly. (For example, most learn to read effortlessly. However, in order for my daughter to learn to read she needed to be taught in specific steps for each task.) Do you think having specific assignments/goals with regard to interacting with persons would be beneficial to you?

Are you using any assistive technology to compensate for the poor handwriting?

Here are some articles that may be of interest:



Also, this community post from an adult with NVLD might offer some additional insights:


Best Wishes.

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Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 269

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Posted:Dec 04, 2010 8:27:53 AM


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Joined Jan 28, 2007
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Posted:Mar 06, 2011 8:07:34 PM

Hey College Kid,

I (perhaps too) am a college student with NVLD and I'll be honest, what you listed as your strengths and weaknesses sounds similar to me.

I'll tell you a few things I've found really helpful. The first one sounds strange, but stop taking notes! I have to work so hard to keep up with what my professors are saying and filtering the information that when I take notes I don't get anything out of classes. Your Disability Resource Center on campus should offer note-taking services for students who need this. I've found this to be helpful (except it's hard to come up with a system not to lose notes!)

You said you have had an AD/HD diagnosis, do you take medicine for this? I have ADD as well or at least the diagnosis and I find that concerta is TREMENDOUSLY helpful in allowing me to start tasks that I typically wouldn't know where to begin or finish tasks I can't finish without it. If you aren't on medicine, perhaps this is something you could discuss with your doctor.

Thirdly, I'd encourage you to take advantage of whatever resources you have in terms of general academics at your school (I had to talk upper level math classes and I lived in the math lab during this time!) If you have a writing center they can often help talk you through things and get you started on papers. I usually just need someone to talk it through and they can help me write what I have verbalized.

As for the social scene, I understand how you feel, I've realized I have a lot of friends through groups (I'm on a sports team, involved with a Christian ministry group, economics club etc.) but it is very difficult for me to meet people when I don't have that deeper foundation because small talk kills me, I get uncomfortable with eye contact (though I've taught myself how to do it, I don't like it), don't always catch sarcasm (I've gotten better, but I made my friends use an invisible "sarcasm" card so I'd know when they weren't being serious). I also CANNOT ever remember faces, even if I remember everything we talked about. To deal with this, I've just gotten used to telling people "I'm so sorry but I don't remember faces, who are you again?" I've had to get over myself in a lot of social situations and I tend to joke about being "socially awkward" because it just makes it easier.

I'd also encourage you to talk to your professors and see if they have any suggestions. I've found that (most) of my professors are willing to work with me and help me. Professors are usually willing to go the extra mile, especially if you are active in class, they know you are smart and want to see you succeed.

Remember with any LD it's not that you are below average, consider it a gift! I love that I can understand things in ways my peers can't and I can analyze information in ways no one else does. Sure, I miss the big picture a lot, but I can solve a proof like no one else has before. You said you've already started taking upper level in major classes but if you are really struggling you can evaluate what you maybe could use your strengths in more. Eg. verbal memory, study language. I think having to reteach information to myself in a different way makes me good at teaching since I know how most people learn and how I learn.

I hope you get this and that it is at least somewhat helpful! Good luck!!

citius altius fortius faster higher stronger

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