After 15 years we are finally beginning to understand our son.
When he began elementary school things were fine. He was an extremely bright child. By the time he was in first grade he was reading chapter books and excelling in math and sports. It wasn’t until he started second grade when I began to see he was struggling socially.
Everyone would be invited to a birthday party but he would be left out. No one ever invited him over to their house to play. One afternoon he said to me “Mommy, I don’t know where I belong.” As he got older, it got worse. Children began bullying him. They called him names and shunned him from groups. Middle school got even worse. He would be invited to meet some kids after school only to be disappointed when no one showed up at the agreed location. When he would ask what happened, they would tell him “Everyone hates you… you’re so annoying!”
When I heard my 14-year-old loving, kind child say, “I’m fine mom. I just have to live with the fact that I’ll never have a friends,” my heart broke. What could I do to help my son?
After getting him tested, we finally got an answer… We were told that he had NVLD. Though it was a relief, it still left us helpless. What do we do now? I put myself in his world and I have to tell you… it was so difficult. What comes easy to us- jokes, facial expressions, gray areas- was impossible for him. How scary it must be for my son to walk around every day wondering if someone was joking with him or were they mocking him?
We finally found a therapist that sat down with our son and explained how his brain works. He said that after hearing someone explain that all to him was the first step to understanding himself and the world around him. He felt empowered. We live in a scary world where there are gray areas everywhere and rules are broken every day. For a son with NVLD this world can be overwhelming and confusing. Hopefully his weekly sessions will continue to teach our son the skills he needs so this world makes sense and be less stressful. Hopefully, he will finally know what it’s like to have a true friendship.
I am a married mother of three and work in radio and TV.Share your own story