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Expert Q&A

Could anxiety and panic attacks cause a false diagnosis of a nonverbal learning disability?

The characteristics of nonverbal learning disabilities make it very common for children with NLD to experience anxiety. Their difficulty understanding other people and anticipating events can lead to a feeling of chaos and uncertainty. They are inclined toward developing secondary internalizing disorders such as stress, anxiety and panic, and phobias. Many teachers do not appreciate the daily level of stress these children experience. Adapting to new situations or changes in routine can be debilitating for children with NLD.

However, other characteristics identify NLD besides anxiety. This article outlines general tendencies of these children. Those who suffer anxiety and panic attacks do not necessarily have a nonverbal learning disability. Their anxiety may be due to any number of other factors, including a past traumatic experience, depression, or general stress.

Nonverbal LD
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