One of the more common weaknesses of an NVLD is having a slow processing speed which lowers your place to take in information, make sense of it and begin to respond. It affects your auditory motor, and visual skills which unfortunately results in needing to take extra time to complete tasks in school and in daily life. Being organized is also very difficult.
For me personally having processing difficulties has brought lifelong challenges. One of the first difficulties for me was following the routines of getting ready in the morning. There were days where I couldn’t fit everything in and I would have to eat breakfast in the car. At school switching classes was also an obstacle especially if teachers taught until the last minute as listening to what our assignments were for the next day followed by packing up became a real challenge. Coursework was also difficult as it took me longer to maintain information however I could eventually learn the material effectively. I just always needed to understand I was going to need extra time and to try my best and to not get discouraged when things weren’t clicking right away.
One of the first ways you can cope with a slow processing is by sticking to daily routines in the morning or in the evening at home. It’s allows you to understand the daily schedule and eventually things do become easier. To make this happen wake up about fifteen to twenty minutes earlier. Yes I know this sounds awful as you want that extra sleep but it truly makes a difference. For your academics, try and get all the accommodations you need. For example, having extended time for tests can be very beneficial as it’s allows you the time to show your true abilities. In some cases, a reader for tests is necessary and is often very important as hearing the test question out loud can help increase your chances of answering the question correctly. Setting up accommodations for writing assignments such as having a scribe or use of a computer can also very helpful as this limits how many steps are asked for you to complete the assignments. Both of these accommodations allow you to achieve the best grade possible. In the workforce, it is trickier to get support with this disorder but the important thing you can do is be honest about your disability and openly communicate with your supervisor(s). Having this awareness makes them more understanding and be more accepting of your disability.
Overall having a processing disorder is very challenging throughout all of your life. As upsetting as this may seem it is so important to always believe in yourself as this will make a huge difference in your overall daily living. The first step is to understand your true abilities and weaknesses both at home and at school. Things will just take longer and by accepting this you can maximize your true abilities.
**All opinions and suggestions in this article from Eileen Herzog and does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.**
I am forever grateful for my secondary speech therapist, resource room, and counselor for giving me all the skills I needed to cope with this deficit!