There are many hidden strengths of having a non-verbal learning disability, some of which were slowly revealed over time. This is not to say that my strengths and gifts outweigh my struggles, as having NVLD can be both a blessing and a curse. I’m well aware of both my strengths and struggles, and I believe it’s important to focus on one’s strengths when it comes to having a learning disability. NVLD has been a mysterious gift hidden in disguise since I was 7 years old and here are just some of the mysteries that come with having NVLD which I like to think of as my superpowers! This is also not to say that everyone with NVLD possesses the same strengths and gifts as I do, we are all beautifully unique in our own way!
1) Strong vocabulary skills
One of the most frustrating and confusing parts of having NVLD is people often misunderstand it with being “non-verbal”. Since I was a young child, I was able to articulate and talk with words outside my vocabulary. I often spoke “like an adult” from an early age and used words that most 7-year-olds wouldn’t think of using. Having NVLD means you have a higher verbal ability.
2) Gifted writing ability
Writing has always been one of my gifts, I’m not sure if it’s an NVLD thing or something I was blessed with. I could easily write you a novel, and my writing abilities also came to me at an early age. I was sometimes even accused of plagiarism in school because my writing abilities were quite strong. I think my writing skills make up for the lack of math skills that I have haha. I seem to also almost always go over my word and page count when it comes to essays opps!
I’ve always been told I’m very creative, whether it be through my writing or other creative projects. As a child, I had quite a creative imagination, which would show up through my “fairy stories”. Now, I use my creativity and apply it to the work I do with my business and the youth I work with. Being a child and youth practitioner allows you to exercise your creativity and come up with out-of-the-box thinking!
I feel anyone who grows up with a learning disability, is blessed with the gift of empathy. The struggles that I faced as a young child equipped me with both sensitivity and a big heart. I know what it’s like to struggle, and I feel things deeper than most. Going into the helping field made it that much of an easier decision for me.
5) Strong auditory memory
I have this strange ability to remember past conversations and lectures. My mind sometimes feels like a radio as I’m able to recall things people have told me from years ago. I believe that having a strong auditory memory is associated with NVLD as it is strongly associated with our strong verbal skills.
6) Hyper focus hyper focus hyper focus!!
I didn’t really come to realize how strong I can hyper-focus until my undergraduate Thesis! Hyper focusing is the ability to 100% fully focus on something for long periods of time without even realizing how much time has passed. Although this can be beneficial in some aspects when it comes to academics, it can also be a bad thing too haha. I can become so immersed and passionate about certain topics or interests, that I don’t even realize how much time has passed. I’m not sure if hyper focusing is an NVLD thing, but it can definitely be quite useful!
I’m a graduate of the Child & Youth Worker program from Cambrian College and recently graduated with a 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