I have fond memories of my childhood. I was a dorky little kid with glasses who found excitement in playing with Hot Wheels cars. I was different.
Fast forward to 7th or 8th grade at Catholic school. One day, all the other boys in my class were going to the sub shop on the other side of town to get subs and spend time at one of the popular kids’ houses. Everyone was invited except for me. I was crushed. I cried bitter tears. My troubles with NVLD were beginning.
I attended an all-boys Catholic preparatory school for the first two years of high school. I thought that it would be the perfect fresh start I needed after a dismal eighth grade year. At first, it went well. I met some new people; mind you I had been with the same eighteen kids for the past ten years. Then I started getting teased. My failure to read social cues and non-verbal cues led to many fights and a couple of suspensions thrown in there. After one last incident of bullying, I had enough and I withdrew from the school.
I had a few friends in my hometown that attended the local public high school. I begged my parents to send me there. I was done with private school at this point. I just wanted some normalcy away from the snobby rich kids. Unfortunately for me, my parents enrolled me at a K-12 independent school not far from the prep school I previously attended.
I attended an open house at this new school where I would be attending for my junior and senior years of high school. The school did not identify as a special needs school, however it catered to students ranging from gifted to mild learning disabilities. The latter seemed more apparent to me. I was scared. I went from a prestigious prep school to a school with people I deemed to be “special needs.” I was afraid of that label.
I graduated high school in 2012. At this point in time I was in complete denial of my NVLD. I was ready to go to a four year school. I had gotten into five of them. My mom (who I today credit for my success) had other ideas.
My parents agreed that I needed to go to community college for two years before moving away to a four year school. I was emotionally immature and I needed to get my prerequisites out of the way. Once again, I was angry. I was missing out on something that all my peers were doing. At this point, why should I be a stranger to missing out? I had been missing out my entire life. I might as well pack it in.
Community college turned my life around. I was able to meet some friends, practice my social skills, date, and work part-time at the local grocery store. I went on ski trips, movie outings, parties, and even Cards Against Humanity playing extravaganzas in the park.
This led to a smooth transition to a four-year school. I quickly made lifelong friends there, excelled academically, and fit in.
I still have trouble socially. I am no longer that dorky kid with the glasses being left out from a trip to the sub shop. I have NVLD. However, I am not alone. I have my family, friends, therapist and girlfriend supporting me every day. I love them with all my heart.
NVLD man. Lover of college hockey, Hot Wheels, hiking, history, and kayaking.Share your own story