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Therapies that help NLD?

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 15, 2002 at 6:25:06 PM
Subject: Therapies that help NLD?

Does anybody know of any specific therapies that will work for a NLD child? I have signed up for Fast Forward for this summer and through the advise of people on this board I am going to get the Visualizing and Verbalizing to help with his comprehension problems. Has anyone with NLD tried these? I just want to be sure I'm using our time wisely. I've read that NLD cannot be cured but will these therapies make a big difference? What about other therapies? What about Brain Bym? I think that is suppose to help with transferring between left side and right side of the brain.

Another question I have is about his comprehension issue. My son is in the third grade and reads well however he is just reading words. Since he has problems with comprehension, wouldn't this also affect how well he does on all other subjects? He often doesn't understand test questions so naturally he will get the question wrong. If his comprehension improves wouldn't there be a good chance of other subjects improving too?

I am often overwhelmed trying to figure out how to help him. Thanks for any advice!!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 15, 2002 8:32:29 PM

Sue,

I just tried to reply but my post disappeared! So I will just say, I would not think Fast ForWord would benefit a NLD child. FFW is for children with language deficits who might have difficulty learning to read (poor phonemic awareness) and who may have auditory processing problems. If your child is a "good reader" (able to decode well) then it doesn't sound like to me that he needs FFW. I thought NLD children had visual/spatial type deficits. If so, you need to be looking at something else, I would think.

Yes, comprehension is very important and does effect everything. I would think that V/V is a good choice to help with that.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 12:02:51 AM

for information? http://www.nldline.com and http://www.nldontheweb.org.

FastForWord is for auditory problems that affect the ability to decode, so I don't think it would help NLD.

I'm not sure V&V would be helpful either, as I'm not sure an NLD child can be taught to visualize.

I would check out the above websites, read up on NLD as much as possible, and perhaps consult an NLD expert before investing a lot of time and money into therapies that may just frustrate rather than help.

Mary

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 24, 2014
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 2:54:31 PM

I agree about the FFW. We've done it and don't see how it would help your child. However, Lindamood advertises V & V as targeted towards the kid who decodes well but doesn't comprehend. Also, Mind prime is discussed on reading bb as containing more small steps as V & V. You already know it is going to be tough with NVLD so you might want to look at that as well.

Beth

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 3:05:57 PM

I neglected to mention that my NLD son is also borderline CAPD.

How do I find an expert in NLD?

I've read Sue Thompson's book. It has a lot of great accomodations but it doesn't mention therapies that will help.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 3:09:24 PM

In addition (hi Beth and Mary!), I looked at the Lindamood-Bell site to deliberate about V/V and found that they also have a program for children with visual/spatial deficits called "Drawing with Language". If it's quality is anything like their other products, I'd think it would be worth a try. I also agree with Beth about the V/V. It might be harder for a NVLD child, but really, I can't think how else you could work on comprehension. The therapist could probably make adaptations in the program for a NVLD child, also.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 3:11:11 PM

Okay, that makes more sense that you were looking at FFW! But how well is he reading?

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 3:22:43 PM

He reads the words pretty well but its his comprehension that's the problem now. He's in third grade and has been in the reading recovery small group at school since September working on comprehension and has only improved 1 level. It doesn't look like this is working for him or maybe its jsut going to take longer. I also read some on the V&V and was wondering about that.

He has a lot of the symptoms of CAPD - trouble following directions, talks loud, etc. If FFW would help the CAPD problems, then I would definitely do it.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 3:32:39 PM

Sue,

Who made the borderline CAPD diagnosis? Are you anywhere near Washington, DC? I know who I'd tell you to take him to if you are.

Janis

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 3:35:39 PM

One more thought, I have read nothing good about Reading Recovery. Apparently they make a lot of hype about it and a lot of districts buy into it, but the results just aren't there. You are right to be looking for something else.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 3:41:40 PM

I'm in Ohio. We went to OSU for the auditory tests. She was recommended by our neuropsych. The neuropsych just recommened we continue speech adn get some OT for his small motor skills and read Sue Thompson's book and gave me the web sites that were mentioned in one of the posts. But what therapies have bben shown to help an NLD's comprehension and visual spatial. I want to be sure I'm doing the right things and not waste time on something that won't work. Maybe some things work and some don't depending on the child?

I do have a call in to someone at the LD school here to see of she can help answer some of my questions.

Thanks.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 16, 2002 5:07:16 PM

Drawing with Language is a program that was created by Phyllis Lindamood. It has been around for awhile but LMB didn't really push it as a complete program until recently. I know it uses a ruler, paper and pencil to facillitate words with spatial concepts as they use the ruler and the pencil on paper. I haven't used it, I have just seen an old version of it at the learning center where I used to work.

There are some user friendly books from Lingui systems on processing disorders and NLD that you can use for therapy at home. VV is a very easy program to follow. The cards with the terms on them is what helps prompt the child to create the visual imagery necessary for comprehension. The 12 key structure terms that are used in VV are what, size, color, number, shape, where, for gross visualization and for fine visualization the terms movement, mood, background, perspective, when and sound are incorporated.

VV uses lots of socratic questioning to facillitate a child's learning experience. Many times as educators we miss the boat when we see children fluently reading, we assume they have comprehension but in reality some children are "word callers" which means that they have a comprehensive knowledge of the "orthographic code" of language and may understand words in isolation but getting them to tie their background knowledge or what they know to new words and sentences to create a gestalt is very difficult. This is where VV comes in to give them an anchor through the sturucture words to help them create comprehension. Comprehension and vocabulary development for children with LD's is very labor and time intensive and one of the most difficult problems to remediate.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 12:23:02 AM

Pattim, That's a wonderful description of the V/V program.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 12:30:55 AM

The only way to comprehend is through visualization. And yes, enough of the skills can be taught to someone with NLD. V/V probably is used more for kids with NLD than with any other group. Their visualizing will never be what we'd call normal but the structure words that pattim so eloquently explains below are key to helping a person with NLD to have something to organize their thoughts around. People with NLD often get lost in the details since they process discrete pieces better than the whole. Using those 12 words gives structure to their thoughts. V/V has a very good record with NLD persons.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 9:12:43 AM

We've been toying with the idea of V&V for our NLD son too. The problem is that NLD kids are so easily overwhelmed, and are often (most of the time) being taxed to the very limits by school itself. There's no way we could do it during the school year, and I know that he absolutely HATED the fact that he had to do OT during the summer last year. I'm not sure how much benefit you get if the child is really resistent to the idea.

For the comprehension piece, we have found that the best way to work on it is have him work with an adult who knows the book. Then have him dicuss each section of the book with the adult as he goes along. Just the discussion itself seems to clarify things in his mind, (that is how most NLD'ers learn best!) and if he's getting off track somewhere, or is missing an obviously important point, he can be guided back toward it by the adult.

It's very time-intensive, and takes a concerted effort between the SPED teacher, the classroom aid and myself, but I do see him making progress with his comprehension using this method. And it doesn't take "buying" a program, or making him do something extra. It can be fitted right into the literature he's reading in the classroom.

Karen

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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 9:21:43 AM

Boy, neither of those programs sound like they'd be a good fit for my son!!! Give him a ruler and a pencil and his processing speed goes out the window. Such a HUGE chunk of brain-power ould go into the visual/motor task that there'd be nothing left for comprehension. We've found it very, very important to work on these skills in isolation, or we don't get any progress in anything.

And the socratic form of teaching is not NLD friendly either... That's asking them to make exactly the leaps that they CAN'T make on their own. They do tend to have amazing memories though, and can learn, over a long period of time, to make connections IF they are verbally pointed out to them over and over again.

Karen

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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 11:29:48 AM

Karen, With V/V, there's no ruler or pencil with V/V. It's all visual and/or auditory. The person working with the child decides how to mix up the visual/auditory depending on the child's ability. And although pattim described it as Socratic, it's concretely so. This is very important! With a non-NLD person, one can move up quickly into the abstract. The people I've worked with who'd fall into this category are those whose comprehension skills need work because they had to concentrate so hard on decoding skills that they totally missed out on content. They usually pick up very quickly on V/V. So do purely ADD/ADHD people once they've received medication and are able to concentrate.

NLD's work differently and it's quite concrete. The V/V structure words lend themselves very well to concreteness. They help an individual figure out what's most important on down to least important about a passage they've either heard or read for themselves. V/V supplies a routine for doing this. It's a dependable routine and that's why NLD's embrace it.

Remember: no pencil/ruler/paper work!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 12:28:41 PM

I think, Sue, that there are no easy, packaged, quick fixes for NLD kids. It is not a problem that you can remediate away. (boy do I wish there was!)

We can help our kids to find different ways to accomplish tasks that are easy for other people, but because this re-routes the signals in their brains, it will ALWAYS be slower and less efficient. What I've come to accept is that this means that although we have yet to find anything that our son hasn't been able to learn, he may very well be unable to learn it on the time-table as NT kids. If we allow the school to push him too hard "because he's so bright" he gets overwhelmed, and his learning rate goes way down as his stress and the undesirable behaviors that go with it increase.

Our son is in 5th grade, and the comprehension piece definitely is a problem that affects all areas of school performance at this age. By 5th grade, kids are expected to "read to learn" rather than "learn to read". That's the bad news. The good news is that his comprehension is definitely better than a year ago, which was better than the year before last. He IS learning, and he IS learning to make connections that he couldn't have made before.

My personal feeling, which is backed up by the experiences of many of the parents of NLD children that I've met, is that you have to look at every minute of every day with these kids as a learning opportunity. Every time you are with them, point out the connections, similarities and difference in the world around them. Why do you use plastic wrap to wrap up a sandwich, but foil to line a broiler pan? NT kids figure out on their own, from other experiences that the plastic wrap would melt in the oven, but our kids don't.

I think if you start to think of everything in life as a comprehension lesson, you can help them make these connections without overburdening them with yet another therapy. My son has mild deficits in fine and gross motor, visual spatial, speech, language and social skills, as well as academic problems in math, writing and comprehension. Every specialist that we've gone to for assessment in one of these areas has felt that he could benefit for their particular brand of therapy. The bottom line is that if we did all of these therapies, he'd be totally and utterly "therapied out". (and we’d be bankrupt!<g>)

We've learned that we have to pick and choose what we feel are the biggest problems and focus on those. He certainly has OT issues, but the way this affects him the worst seems to be in writing (printing... he doesn't do cursive at all) so we spend his limited OT time on keyboard training. We found a gym-based social skills program where he works on social skills, cooperative problem solving and visual/motor issues in a setting that he thinks of as just plain fun. The only down-side of this therapy is the cost!<g> I think that every NLD child is going to have different weaknesses that will be most important in their lives, and deserve the most attention.

I remember when we first learned about NLD, we were frantic to try to "fix" everything before it was "too late". Then another parent of an older NLD child told us, "you know, you can run yourself ragged, spend all your money and increase your child's stress level going from one therapy to another, and at the end of the day, your child will STILL be NLD. It doesn't go away."

I have taken that bit of wisdom to heart. I continue to look for ways to help my son grow and learn effective ways to compensate for his weaknesses while building on his strengths. And a lot of that is just slowly chipping away at things every single day under all sorts of situations. But my number one goal has become the protection his emotional well-being, and that, for us, means picking and choosing VERY carefully among possible interventions to make absolutely sure that the stress on all parties doesn't outweigh any minor gains.

He has his whole life ahead of him. I think the best “therapy” we can give our kids is the gift of time. Time to grow, mature, and learn at their own rate.

Karen

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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 12:32:32 PM

Thanks, Joan. It sounded like the other program mentioned was the one with rulers and pencils, and the very thought made me shudder.<g>

I've heard very good things about V&V for NLD kids, and your explanation makes it clearer why it's a good choice. Thanks!

Karen

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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 1:29:34 PM

Karen,

Right in line with that thought...I plan to buy the V/V kit and donate it to my child's school so that they can use it in combination with what they are already doing with her there. We do well to get homework done in the evening, and I can see that we can only do so much "therapy" at home.

Janis

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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 6:20:15 PM

I'd be happy to buy a program for the school to use to, if they'd only find time to actually do it. But they don't want to pull him out during academic periods, because obviously that would leave him farther behind. But then you'd have to pull him out of a different special every day to be able to do a program like that, and the SPED teachers don't always have those specials periods available to work with him. He already stays after school 3 days a week for key boarding. I just don't know how you fit these things in.

Karen

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