My name is Sydney and I am 23 years old. I am from a small town in Alabama and was diagnosed with NVLD when I was in the 5th grade. While the diagnoses answered a bunch of questions, it opened its own can of problems. My parents immediately put an IEP in place for me at school to receive certain accommodations, hardly any of which were met throughout the rest of my schooling, reasoning being my grades were “good enough” and I didn’t really need assistance. I was an all A and occasional B student. Friends were few and far between but I clung to the ones I did have. Marching band was a safe haven for me and was the only place in which I felt I was good at something.
My “quirks” include major anxiety which I finally sought help for my junior year of high school along with sensory processing issues and just overall not being good at social interactions. This was met by resistance by not really my classmates but the adults in my life; from the school teachers who ignored my problems and refused to give me assistance to a dance teacher who couldn’t stand the fact I just couldn’t space properly between other dancers or it took me a little longer me to learn choreography.
It all took a turn when I entered college and I met the closest friends I have ever had and finally, for the first time, learned what it felt like to have my academic accommodations met without any resistance. Minus a few classes (I’m looking at you Chemistry) I more or less excelled and graduated May 2021 from UAB with my Bachelors of Science in Psychology and am currently working in an inpatient psychiatric unit as a patient tech, growing my knowledge of mental health while awaiting to begin graduate school to pursue a Masters in Clinical Counseling and take my licensing exam to become a LPC.
Working with NVLD in the environment I do can be very difficult. There are days my assertiveness and patient control is better than others and some where I even ask myself “Syd what the heck are you doing?”, and I don’t always know when to speak up when I should. But the co-workers I have had thus far have been amazing and super supportive (despite hardly any of them knowing my NVLD diagnoses).
I wish I had tips for those branching out on their own for the first time with this condition, but the truth is I’m still figuring those out myself. What I do know is to not be afraid to speak up about it and let others know! It can be difficult for them to understand but it opens the door for them to realize you have this going on and understand why you may do things a little differently or have a harder time with situations others normally wouldn’t struggle with.
Thanks for reading <3
I am 23 years old and live in Alabama. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment with my cat Ruby and currently work in an inpatient psychiatric unit. I have my Bachelors degree in Psychology and am hoping to start working in my Masters degree soon.Share your own story