I have been mislabeled autistic multiple times and one person even thought that NVLD meant that I couldn’t speak. Not to mention I struggled a lot with visual-spatial concepts. I have heard other people share similar experiences regarding their NVLD experience. My goal is to share how I have been able to overcome many of the diagnosis restrictions.
When I was younger I couldn’t play chess. The game baffled me. It got so bad that I refused to play for many years. A few months ago I began playing chess again. Now that my brain is more evolved, I’m beginning to figure the game out and have even beaten several people online. This new phenomenon has inspired me to test my limits in other areas.
Directional navigation has never been my forte. One element of this conundrum historically has been locating things on maps. I recently played a game that allowed you to buy virtual real estate based on real-life locations. After tons of effort, I was able to match up locations on the game map with the online Google map that I used for comparison.
My high school refused to let me initially take special ed math and science despite evidence of my learning disability. After several months of struggling academically, the school finally let me make the switch. My brief post-secondary experience sadly wasn’t much better. Due to my inability to reach the math and science requirements, I dropped out of college. Luckily I’m on track to get the last laugh. I’m very close to completing my own self-administered 20 courses, 60 credit curriculum that mainly encompasses audited online courses.
NVLD still has a long way to go. The learning disability still isn’t officially recognized in the DSM. This is unfortunate because it affects a lot of people directly and indirectly. I might not be able to accomplish all of life’s traditional milestones. However, I have still been able to maintain success despite my diagnosis. In addition to the accomplishments mentioned above, I have maintained steady, competitive employment for 3.5 years and live in my own indi apartment. I believe that someday NVLD will be more recognized. But until then we must continue to advocate and more importantly demonstrate that it is a real diagnosis and that people with NVLD are still capable of achieving success.