The Elephant in the Office, by Denise

By November 24, 2021 NVLD Bloggers

Yes, adults have learning disabilities, too. We don’t outgrow them, we grow into them. I’m not sure who once said that to me but it turned my life around. I was panicked and worried that I could not organize my mind or find the discipline to work at a high-level job. That was so not true. All I needed was support from the people around me and from my colleagues. I now know that one in five adults has a learning disability or mental health diagnosis—probably more than that because people do not disclose their labels.

Talking to someone about NVLD is difficult. What the heck is that? It’s easier, I have found, to talk about what I can do and how I do my best work. I am a journalist and author and a mom to a son who has grown up with learning differences. I can safely say that writing about them has helped both of us. But mostly, taking pride in not thinking they others do has been a huge relief.  It took years of using resources and reading other people’s blogs to see how communicating simply and clearly was the best way to be understood versus being underestimated. I wouldn’t change my brain for anything and I can safely bet my son wouldn’t either. I hope the next generation shows pride in their NVLD. It’s incredibly cool to have.


I am a writer and author of The Elephant in the Playroom. I write about all kinds of invisible disabilities and how to make life not more normal but more enjoyable by making the most of your hidden talent. You can find my work at

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