Advice for NVLD students Part A , by Eileen

By November 16, 2023 NVLD Bloggers

While I am not a special education teacher or another provider like a school psychologist I am very familiar with what NVLD students truly need to overcome the disability and have success. Having this understanding comes from remembering all the techniques and methods that my teachers, therapists, and coaches used with me over the years. Their willingness and openness to do things differently contributed to my success.

For example, when taking lengthy exams such as finals NVLD students absolutely need a proctor/reader that knows them well especially if you have two or more on the same day. Slow processing speed and difficulty completing lengthy assignments can result in fatigue and cause anxiety.  So having a  proctor/reader that  knows what techniques to use  helps  prevent anxiety and maintain focus throughout the full exam more effectively so you can get a score that is a true reflection of your ability.  Fortunately my resource room teacher realized this was necessary early on so I generally  took exams with her and another adult who knew me and my challenges well. Together they were excellent at preventing these challenges from occurring. Often it  only took  a big smile and very simple comments  like ‘Eileen you’re doing great”  to give me what I needed. In addition they knew exactly when I needed to take a breather which afterward allowed me to get back on track.

Another example that can ensure your success is making sure you have the same resource room teacher all throughout high school. Given your academic, social, and emotional challenges  the familiarity allows the resource room teacher to give all the guidance, direction, and support that you need.  For example,by the first day of  my Junior year my resource room teacher whom I had since 9th grade,  said in an uplifting tone “Eileen you made it this far please don’t take any steps backwards” and right away we continued to make tremendous progress.  In addition, if I started to become overwhelmed and unfocused  she always  knew exactly when I  needed a break or needed to work with her individually to regain focus.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your speech therapist  to work with you on your academic assignments that are language based rather than doing traditional speech therapy lessons  if you have a test coming up.Honestly your deficits can accurately be addressed  through your course requirements  and at times this is more effective than doing a traditional speech lesson. I believe your therapist will understand why. I  believe this because my speech therapist would occasionally let me do my English and Science assignments with her as it proved to be great practice to improve my receptive language and my articulation skills. This is because I would read each question and passage out loud to her and would  have to follow each direction , accept her help appropriately, and use the correct tone of voice. Addressing both my communication deficits and academic requirements was so helpful for the both of us.

Now if you want to be part of an individual sports team like I was, being able to accept your coaches assistance will help you be successful. For example during my first varsity winter track season my coach wanted me to be near her due to my social communication deficits . At first I thought I was being underestimated but as the season went on I realized her support allowed me to become connected with the other runners and coaches in the field. This truly helped me to be able to form the right group of role models and a great support system. I know personally during unstructured times was when I made the most social mistakes and  my coaches  made sure this didn’t happen on the track. Yes I get it, accepting your coach’s assistance isn’t always cool as I didn’t want to be near mine as a 9th grader but believe me you will be thankful that they looked out for you.Accepting their assistance leads to great success.

Next is that your parents communicate with your gym teachers ahead of time if you have gross motor skills deficits. Some of the activities that are part of the curriculum may be  too difficult for you  such as volleyball so it is important your gym teachers have an awareness of this so they can offer an activity like weight training as a replacement. Doing an alternative activity may seem hard but your gym teacher really does care so much about your safety.and they will set up accommodations privately with you, your parents, and possibly your resource room teacher. This being said, this is the end of Part A and I hope so far you have a real understanding of what you need to be successful.


Eileen is a Project Social Ambassador and blogger for The NVLD Project. She loves helping others understand they can achieve their goals and dreams through hard work and dedication.

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