I’ve had a strong vocabulary since the age of five. A majority of my childhood was spent writing extensive creative stories with words straight out of a thesaurus. However, if you asked me a math equation I’d look at you blankly and wouldn’t know the answer. Ask me to put together a puzzle, and I wouldn’t be able to comprehend how the pieces connect.
I frustrated teachers yet amazed my parents. I could write novels, comprehend Shakespeare, and read books beyond my years. Yet, I still don’t know how to ride a bike because of my poor balance coordination, and learning how to drive has been anything but fun for me because of my poor spatial recognition.
I could give an extensive list of things I can’t do because of having a non-verbal learning disability, but why? I believe the term “non-verbal learning disability” is entirely misunderstood. When curious friends ask me what kind of learning disability I have, they stare at me blankly and reply “but you can talk, I don’t get it?”
Story of my life. Explaining and educating others about how non-verbal learning disability meant anything but being non-verbal. You see, the term non-verbal learning disability is entirely black and white. When I explain what it is, it’s almost unheard of. I think that’s the most frustrating part, is the lack of understanding.
Having Non-Verbal Learning Disability has allowed me to embrace my unique identity. I believe having a non-verbal learning disability gives me many advantages. I have a gift with words, I can empathize with children with disabilities and I perceive things in a different light. I believe non-verbal learning disability should be celebrated and not questioned for such a misunderstood disorder.
I’m a graduate of the Child & Youth Worker program from Cambrian College and I’m pursuing my degree in Disability Studies at Ryerson University along with a certificate in Aboriginal Knowledges & Experiences. I am a Project Social Ambassador for The NVLD Project.Share your own story