My 13 yo son was tested a few years ago and his verbal score was in the 91st percentile and non verbal was in the 55th percentile. He matches the criteria for social impairment that goes with NVLD but is very good at sports. The psychologist said there are no red flags as a result of the disparity in scores.
He is also very good at math and generally does very well at school. Where he struggles is with social skills. He often gets in trouble at school ( not in class but during recess ) and it's gotten us very worried. I was told by the school principal that he doesn't seem to show any remorse and that is a troubling sign. Further, he plays hockey and baseball and is seen as a model kid to be coached but then, when there are kids playing outside on a good day, he refuses to go out and join them. My heart aches for him and I really don't know where to start in order to help him.
At home, he tends to consistently bother his little sister but we have very firm rules and structure so he seems fine.
My question is: is he on the spectrum, does he have NVLD or is he just a kid who might go down the wrong path...please help.
What you've written sounds like he has a difficulty with 'empathy'?
But behind empathy, is what is called a 'mirror process' in the brain?
Which uses 'mirror neurons'.
To explain this process, if we observe someone hit their thumb with a hammer? This mirror process, causes a response in the brain. Just as if we hit our own thumb.
If you've ever watched someone getting a 'needle', it probably felt you were getting it?
Where this mirror response also occurs when we see someone else's facial expressions and body language.
So that when we see someone smile, we actually feel their smile.
Or feel their tears.
So that remorse isn't just a logical process, as we think about their response?
Rather we feel and share their response.
So that when we 'bother' someone?
At the same time, we experience it from the position of the person we are bothering.
So that we feel the bother that we are causing them and see it from the other side. In this mirror process.
Which in turn regulates our behaviour.
But if this 'mirror process' isn't working properly, then we don't automatically feel it from the other person's position?
So that it then has to thought through logically, where the 'very firm rules and structure' that you mentioned. Are used as a logical reference.
Though the main method to resolve this?
Basically uses 'role playing'?
Where for example, he imagines himself as his little sister, who is being bothered by his big brother?
So that he learns how to imagine himself in the other persons position.
Where social skills are really based on understanding the other persons position.
Which determines how we will respond.
Thanks a lot!! Your response seems very thoughtful; 'teaching' him ( because it's not innate ) how to feel another person's pain.
I intended to post this on the 'Gap b/w verbal and non verbal', I'll do that to see if I can get more information but it looks like an empathy issue, sigh:(
I do remember babysitters saying he hardly felt a lot of pain as a child and when he got needles, he barely cried as a baby. Off course now, he does show and feel his own pain. Is there another connection there?