One hallmark behavior associated with NVLD is social difficulty. Often children with NVLD feel isolated and lonely. Social problems associated with NVLD may derive from difficulty with spatial and visual-perceptual deficits. However, the social problems associated with NVLD may derive from other sources, too. Many children with NVLD experience anxiety. Sometimes this anxiety is purely social, but many times it extends into other realms. It is not uncommon for children with NVLD to have obsessive tendencies or to have phobias and other forms of anxiety, in addition to social anxiety. Anxiety can lead to children restricting their interactions with others to avoid anxiety-inducing triggers.
Anxiety can also lead children to avoid saying what they think because they are worried others will think their ideas are weird or that others may simply not understand what they are saying. Cognitive behavioral therapy aimed at helping children understand these anxiety-avoidance processes may help improve the quality of children’s social experiences. It is very difficult for children with NVLD to handle their anxiety. Children with NVLD want to have friends, but the consequences of their anxiety mean that social interactions are often unsuccessful, leaving them feeling isolated and lonely.
Amy Margolis – Expert Advisor
Neuropsychologist. Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University Medial Center.