Getting a Diagnosis at 66-Years-Old, by Barbara

By October 20, 2021 NVLD Bloggers

My entire life was impacted by something that I couldn’t explain to anyone because nobody knew what it was. In those days, children like me were set aside and considered lazy and unmotivated. Punishment came from both school and at home, as if that were going to make a difference to me. I was lost, sad, felt abandoned and not worthy of love or kindness. My middle school years were perhaps the most traumatic years of my life. I had no support from my family, actually I was bullied by older sibling at the encouragement of my father.

I’ve been on a lifelong journey to discover what made me different. Not knowing, yet knowing that something wasn’t right. I’ve been from neurologist to therapist to psychiatrist and back again. I received a diagnosis of ADHD and thought that might be that, it wasn’t. Thankfully I had neurological testing and that is when it was revealed that my particular issues were not ADHD but in fact NVLD. I was surprised to find out that what was wrong isn’t even listed in the DSM-5.


I am a 66 year old woman that has and continues to struggle with life. I spend most time alone, I’ve learned over many years that social interaction and I don’t speak the same language. I struggled mightily in school with math mostly. I was held back in 8th grade while my classmates, from kindergarten went to High School without me. All the while I grew to 6’1″ by the time I made it to high school. Trauma has been a close friend, and the most comfort I feel is when I have a dog to love and care for. I now have an answer that was diagnosed through neurological testing and not guess work. This is where I am today… I’m thankful for this diagnosis, now I can forge a path forward with understanding and self compassion.

A note though about my path, 14 years after dropping out of high school, I got my GED and went on to get a degree in Finance. (I know, right??)

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