Here’s my article on life with non verbal learning disorder. It’s in my favorite newspaper The Long Island Press which was six years old in May and has won many awards. I’m very very proud to be associated with it, and to write for the incredible series Our Children’s Brains
The article’s about childhood and early adolescence.
Life became much better after high school. Senior Year in high school was the kind of year memoirs are written about, and high school summers were spent in Mexico. I will never complain about high school. Well….
I have spent the past year researching non verbal learning disorder (nld) and while I think the articles referenced in my article or the factoid are the best I do want to stress that not every person has every problem and severity is always different and maybe subjective.
I was asked today how I could write this if I have NLD. Many people will tell you I have incredibly horrible grammar. But I love books and words and do have a feel for them. I might not be able to define an adjective or an adverb but I can use them properly. Sweet mystery of life.
My problems tend toward the motoric and spatial more than executive functioning etc. Though I can make many cases for bad judgment.
Me–knew the housing market even in Manhattan was going to go down. Me–spent three years thinking about it. Me–hired, well let’s not go there–to renovate. Me–had about a month of things to do. Six weeks tops. Began renovation in November and ended in March
it is fair to say (as Helmer R. Myklebust did in 1975) that nonverbal learning disabilities “are more debilitating than verbal disabilities.” The specific central processing abilities and deficits that characterize this syndrome are now well defined. Still, nonverbal learning disorders remain predominantly misunderstood and largely go unrecognized.
I didn’t have the space to add that and think it’s important to understanding NLD. It gets no respect. Sometimes I feel like Cinderella’s unknown good sister. Though my very good sister loved this article as she’s known me virtually my whole life–she’s younger–and knows how true it is.
Something else from this article that I think is important to understand
nonverbal learning disabilities “predispose those afflicted to adolescent and adult depression and suicide risk.”
I have read other places that the rate of suicide is higher. I can and can’t imagine it. In many ways I have lived a charmed life. There have been many mazes, rabbit holes, and dead men’s curves, I have encountered but I truly believe life is a wonderful thing and I’m so glad to be here.
Yet I understand the despair that drives people to suicide. These problems aren’t going to be overcome with normal therapy, drive or coaching.
I was able to compensate for much but I need more time alone than most people. I have learned what works for me through never giving up and I have first my parents then my sister and friends to thank for that.
Many people with NLD become crazed from traveling. I become crazed if I don’t. I can’t drive. That and not becoming a rock star at eighteen sadden me more than anything.
No, it’s knowing that I have so much potential but because brain cells are immature or not there or something that makes me crazed.
I have read about parents who don’t believe in NLD and have their children do eye exercises. I believe they’re right to an extent but only where certain spatial things are concerned.
I’m beginning to see my organizational problems in a whole different light–as mistakes in judging sequence and ultimately judgement. That would explain why I could get rid of a lifetime’s worth of stuff so easily and not feel “lighter” or however people feel after disposing themselves of clutter. However my apartment itself wasn’t cluttered. Just the storage cage and I read that if you allow yourself to have a cluttered storage cage and no place else you’re doing great.
The point to this is that ridding myself of all clutter didn’t open my brain for new info as it’s supposed to. I’m babbling. Something I tend to do when nervous.
I have spent most of my life solving other people’s problems either professionally or because that’s one of my roles in life. It’s much easier for me to read other people than it is for me to read me.
I hope I’m not confusing you too much and just thought of about 20 relatives I should send this to.
I wrote about childhood and early adolescence as the series is called “Our Children’s Brains.” I’m not a person who spends their life thinking about Junior High or High School. Those years were over a long long time ago.
If you have any questions please ask. I will even moderate comments. The article misidentified me. I once was a very popular blogger who literally lacked the time and the mental energy to keep it up. But I thank them anyway and can’t wait to have two Long Island Press covers on my sidebar.
I put this song in every July 4th as to me it’s the ultimate American song and song of hope. The only thing specifically about Independence Day in it is that Louis claimed it as his birthday.
Have a wonderful July 4th!!!! People here talk about the beach crowds for the fireworks and I’m sure they’re right. But my sister and I stood in a crowd of two million to see fireworks once so…..
In the past several years I turned into a fireworks snob and only go if they’re on the Hudson (rarely), if I get invited to someplace where they can be seen easily and it’s not hard to get to or if I’m somewhere not in New York.
As I’m somewhere not in New York….