Both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a nonverbal learning disability (NVLD) are life long neurobiological challenges. ADHD was first formally recognized as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the 1960’s. Today, ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed and perhaps over diagnosed childhood and adolescent disorders.
In contrast, NVLD has yet to be formally recognized and is generally overlooked, underdiagnosed, and misunderstood. Moreover, NVLD is frequently mistaken for ADHD. One of the key dangers of misidentifying mental health disorders is the distress it can cause the individual and their family. A lack of proper identification can result in unrealistic demands, expectations and overestimations of the individual’s ability. Subsequent self esteem and self confidence issues, social and emotional concerns, as well as academic struggles and frustrations can give rise to a lifetime of challenges.