Growing up with an NVLD brought a lot of difficulties but the one that seems to be hardest for me was expressing the appropriate emotion and making the right decision in the given situation. What I mean by this is that I may act either too rude or too sweet, which both can have a negative effect. In my experience, going through these situations can make it hard to maintain relationships as while many are understanding not everyone understands your different thinking process that NVLD can cause.
In high school, for instance, I often acted edgy and rude. I was unhappy as I learned more and more about what my NVLD meant for me. This was triggered by not being able to express myself and choosing to keep my true feelings inside. Some adults became frustrated with me and mislabeled me as a student. The difficulties occurred the most with my resource room teacher which brought even more tension on my end as I was working so hard at being a good student. I must admit she was right to misread me because the messages I was presenting to her were very negative. However, as the year went on I gained better coping skills, and together we made impressive gains. She learned expressing the right emotion was an area of difficulty for me and I was doing the best I could.
My 9th grade year was the worst as the teaching assistant in our resource room was switched in November and I was never aware of the change. I became edgy and rude right away because I couldn’t cope with the change and how strict she was. A lot of adults I liked were strict, however she didn’t use a tone of voice that I could comprehend so, in my mind, she was beyond awful. I was struggling to find a way to communicate this to my teachers. As a result I often missed the support I needed especially from my resource room teacher. My behavior was sending the message I didn’t care about my academics which was so not true. Thankfully, a few of my other teachers who were more in tune with my disability spoke to my resource room teacher about how she was missing out helping a great kid by not understanding her disability completely. Gradually, my resource teacher began to understand me and learned how to effectively work with me and admitted she had made mistakes on her end too. Years later, I am proud to say I had this same teacher all throughout high school. We made such great strides and we formed an incredible relationship.
I was also incredibly rude in the process of my post-secondary plans with my support team because I couldn’t comprehend the need for a possible plan B. The awful attitude I had and would shut down every option they presented to me because I thought it meant they believed I wouldn’t make it in college. The truth was they wanted me to explore all options in case none of my colleges with comprehensive support programs and post-grad programs at LD boarding schools worked out. Thankfully, I was accepted to Dean college and today we laugh about how stubborn I was at the time.
One of the ways to make this easier is by having your parents speak to your support team about how you can be either too rude or sweet and that sometimes can’t understand the full picture. Another person who can help you out is your speech therapist as part of their role is helping be able to have appropriate conversations and give the right responses for different scenarios. In fact, my former secondary speech therapist still occasionally gives me advice on this.
Growing up finding the right emotion in any given situation may not be easy. Sometimes you are too rude or too sweet which can create many difficulties. I can say with great confidence through open communication and a strong desire to succeed it can become easier. Each year, I continued to be less and less rude and stubborn and if I was having a hard time I was able to work through the situation. I believe the same thing can happen for you should you decide to accept this challenge and be willing to overcome it.
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