As a young child, looking back, I was different – way ahead of my peers in reading and memorization. But so bad at sport I was sent off the football pitch for upsetting the other players, and I never won at cards or strategic games. As I approached 16, I noticed that my former advantages were becoming disadvantages – my reasoning was really poor, I couldn’t foresee outcomes others saw easily, and the more theoretical maths and logic that my peers could handle easily were impossible.
Fast forward 40 years, and a neurodivergent friend with expertise in supporting people like him, proposed that I might be different – he felt it was a form of dyscalculia, based on my inability to process strategies, charts, dates, times, and complex info. I immediately felt he was on to something (many things seemed to fit), and tried to map my experiences onto this difference… but it never quite sat right. Nevertheless, it gave me the confidence to seek more insight, ask for additional information when I felt stumped, and explain why planning is so difficult for me.
Another 10 years on, I decided to enter all the things I found challenging (that others seemed not to) into ChatGPT and ask it for a generalized assumption about which learning difficulty would match. It came back with something I’d never heard of NVLD.
As soon as I started reading about NVLD, the remainder of the jigsaw slipped into place, and all the things that have perplexed me about the ‘magic’ that neurotypical people can work on made sense… I had an answer. The remaining challenge now is that there’s no route to diagnosis, in the UK at least, so I’m left with reading, thinking, and absorbing how much effort and stress has gone into managing these differences… and how people have criticized, admonished, and been apoplectic that I can’t do what they want, when they want it, and have huge informational needs at work.
Thank you for being present – with this website – and for reading, if you’ve got this far… I’m reading ‘Misnamed, Misdiagnosed, Misunderstood: Recognizing and Coping with NVLD’, and have just scored 19 on their adult test where 9 is the threshold for investigating further… and finding I have all the strengths of NVLD, too – so I’m happy!
Sharing experiences, supporting others with neurodivergence, and understanding our interactions makes me feel much more positive… and has seemingly helped others feel more positive about me. 🙂
I’m a content designer by trade – I work with words (funnily enough), although I used to be a musician. Both areas of work where I can get away with as little analysis, strategising and complexity as possible. I live in the north of the UK, on my own, with great friends and in a lovely area, and I’m now over 60. My friends know me well, and that I have high information needs, require clarity, explain myself at great length, and can’t foresee the obvious… it’s great to know there’s a reason! 🙂