Nonverbal learning disabilities are disorders of presumed neurological origin resulting from diminished or disordered functioning in the right hemisphere of the brain. The right hemisphere is the area of the brain which processes nonverbal or performance-based information, including visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic input.
Three broad categories of problems are often observed in children and adults with nonverbal learning disabilities: motorist dysfunction (lack of coordination, balance problems and difficulty; visual-spatial disorganization (poor visual spatial analysis, disordered spatial perception, and difficulty with spatial orientation; and poor social cognition (difficulty interpreting non-verbal social cues such as gestures, body language and tone of voice; difficulty adjusting to transitions).
Like Asperger’s syndrome, NLD exists on a spectrum where it frequently co-occurs with other conditions such as learning disabilities, ADHD, mood, and anxiety disorders.*
Ongoing debate surrounds the relationship between Asperger’s syndrome and NLD, as research on the condition progresses and procedures can differ from AS research. In the proposed DSM-V, the condition is not recognized and will not be included in the 2013 version.
- Makes logical connections between personal wants and needs across a variety of adult life decisions.
- More self-aware of how their behavior affects the positive development of peer relationships. Significant reductions of “off the wall” comments unrelated to the conversation or circumstances.
- Awareness and improved performance in commonly accepted and practiced social graces.
- Less avoidance-type behaviors due to increased practice and personal responsibility in dealing effectively with the perceived risks of “failing.”
- Can make informed career planning decisions by utilizing a system of tools/methods that recognize & build on individual assets and manage functional limitations.
- Demonstrates independent ability to identify, enroll, and complete college or career programming with passing grades/scores.
- Able to conduct an independent job search, interview, accept and retain competitive employment for at least 120 continuous days.
- Comprehends and appreciates that employers expect all employees to perform certain job functions in specific ways.
- Understands and complies with the policy/procedure demands of a particular work setting.
- Successfully lived on own, managed daily tasks of independent living, and begin to support themselves financially.
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