NVLD and other disabilities

Question: How does nonverbal learning disability differ from other disabilities?

My answer:

In what we are disabled about.

The differences with physical disabilities are pretty clear, so I won’t go into them.

Perhaps the condition we are closest to (whether you regard it as a disability or not) is autism or the autism ballpark. But it’s not the same. I wrote another blog post: I am not Temple Grandin and I am not autistic.

Perhaps the most common and largest difference is that we NLDers tend to think verbally; many of us are hyperlexic. Autistic people generally think much more visually (and, in fact, Temple Grandin wrote a book called Thinking in Pictures).

Also, many autistic people are physically adept, at least in some ways. This is not at all typical for NLDers.



  1. Judy Silman-Greenspan says

    I don’t understand why you say that NDLers don’t do sports. I was in the Girls Athletic Association in junior high. I also sew some of my own clothes. Where the rubber meets the road I am not very good with alterations. I asked a mental health profession why I am able to do sports and sewing. I was told that I learned it before I became an adult when the brain matures.
    I was diagnosed with NLD as a very mature adult, almost a senior.
    I think it is a good idea to teach and even over-teach NLDers to learn as if they are neurotypicals and they might just be able to catch on.
    But, how can I learn ‘social’ skills and nuances? That was not taught to me and it nearly killed my career on a clinical rotation recently. Now I have to repeat the rotation with 25-35 year old snots as preceptors. I am really scared going forward. Any ideas how I can learn these skills in the St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN area?

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