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NVLD Bloggers

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Physical Education and Having an NVLD, by Eileen

By NVLD Bloggers

One of the hardest things about having an NVLD can be participating in Physical education, especially at the secondary level. What is often overlooked is that accommodations/modifications can be made for NVLD students to make gym class more enjoyable, and if done correctly, their classmates don’t even know it. This can be done by having a meeting with your gym teacher ahead of time to choose activities you can do for each unit so you won’t be faced with having to choose between two activities that include so many gross motor and hand-eye coordination skills, such as volleyball or Badminton.
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The Difficulty of Misunderstanding People at Times, by Eileen

By NVLD Bloggers

Overcoming NVLD, my most challenging years were 7th grade through the beginning of 10th grade. I was becoming more and more aware of my disability since my sister’s achievements were around me quite regularly. For example, she was a starter on the basketball team, so the highlights often included her, and she was Vice President of our school’s service club, so her picture was often in our local paper for that. Due to this, it was hard for me to understand if my teachers and coaches really liked me or just felt sorry for me because I wasn’t gifted like my sister. I struggled to understand that each student has their positives and that each educator and coach enjoys the individual for a different reason.
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Blessing in Disguise, by Jennifer

By NVLD Bloggers

I was diagnosed with NVLD at age 19. It was like a lightbulb went off because now my family had answers to all of the questions of why so many things were and still are challenging for me. Ever since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve been trying to make those challenges not seem so big, and some of them have gotten easier to deal with. I’ve gotten better at reading social cues and body language by asking my parents what they mean when I see them in a TV show. I have also gotten better at doing math in my head by doing addition with easy groupings that equal five, ten, or 15. I have tried to make many, if not all of the challenges easier for me because I know they can be, and I want them to be. Read More

Diagnosed at 5, by Anne

By NVLD Bloggers

I was diagnosed with NVLD when I was quite young. A speech therapist I saw figured out I had it from doing social skill classes with her. I first talked at 18 months and had typical autistic traits like creativity and dire interests in history facts even in kindergarten and first grade. Another trait I had at a very young age was love of music and being able to properly sing the ABC’s. That’s when my mother thought about getting me a music teacher and finally started at 8 years old.
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Struggle to Success, by Anna

By NVLD Bloggers

My name is Anna, and I was diagnosed with NVLD when I was 12 years old. I had a hard time keeping up with schoolwork, staying organized, daydreaming, and most noticeably, social interactions with my peers. I was very anxious and depressed during that time of my life, and one of my teachers noticed and helped my parents find the right resources to help me keep up with the other students. I ended up switching to a school with a learning resource center and was able to use amenities like extra time on tests, a quiet space, and someone to make sure I wrote down my homework assignments and that I had my books before I went home.
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A Very Misunderstood Condition, by Rosemary

By NVLD Bloggers

Hi, my brother Robert has lived with NVLD all his life, he is now 65 years old.  However, he was only diagnosed around 15 years ago and by that time it was almost too late to help him with his troubles at work, his social interactions and anxiety, just to name a few.  He has little self awareness of his condition which doesn’t help. I remember as a child, my mother used to take him to be tested for dyslexia and to psychiatrists who could couldn’t pinpoint his problem.  He is now retired and lives on his own near me.
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The Need to Increase Inclusion in Sports, by Eileen

By NVLD Bloggers

One of the reasons why inclusion in sports is so rare is that sports are a privilege, not a right like education is. As a result, inclusion isn’t a common practice for those with NVLD as it requires a lot of resources and effort from the support staff and coaches for something that isn’t a requirement. However, I believe that parents, resource room teachers, counselors, and coaches need to become more open to encouraging those with an NVLD or similar disability to join the appropriate sports team so that more students can enjoy the privilege and reap the benefits of being part of a team too.
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The Elephant in the Office, by Denise

By NVLD Bloggers

Yes, adults have learning disabilities, too. We don’t outgrow them, we grow into them. I’m not sure who once said that to me but it turned my life around. I was panicked and worried that I could not organize my mind or find the discipline to work at a high-level job. That was so not true. All I needed was support from the people around me and from my colleagues. I now know that one in five adults has a learning disability or mental health diagnosis—probably more than that because people do not disclose their labels.
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Top 5 Things Helping Me with Social Life and NVLD, by Olivia

By NVLD Bloggers

Moving to a town, have a new class, is a friend ignoring you, or something came out of nowhere? Anything new is inevitable meaning it’s bound to happen, but don’t be afraid of change. For those with NVLD, it’s time to get used to the unusual. We rely on routines, but I wouldn’t be who I am if I carried on with those routines. A new town can mean a new journey. A new class could become a new hobby. A new friend is better than one who is distant or using you. Something out of nowhere, good or bad, can teach you a lot.

  1. Be open to new opportunities and experiences, even if it feels weird, at first. Don’t let the unknown keep you from seeing what’s out there.
  2. Ask questions! Don’t get the answer right away? Ask more questions! It can be scary to say that you don’t understand, only someone will always be there to help you understand. If not at that moment, later in the day or in life. In middle school and high school, if I didn’t understand a question on an exam, I walked up to my teacher and asked if they could explain it a different way. Like all humans, not all teachers are willing to give another example or explain in a different way. Mostly because they want you to try and answer it the best way you can. If you can’t? That’s okay. It’s in our human nature to forget and move on. Disregard anybody who won’t give the answer that gives you satisfaction. It’s not worth the time and you will laugh about it later. I have.
  3. It is common knowledge that those with NVLD can get lost. Our visual-spatial awareness can make us feel turned around. Always—always be safe when you go anywhere. GPS is our friend, though don’t be afraid to take risks and go the road less travel. If something like driving scares you, practice! It doesn’t make you perfect, just better!
  4. It might be also common knowledge that those who have Non-Verbal Learning Disability can be more naïve and gullible. Here is what I can tell you: Speech and Occupational therapy help with understanding social cues and I cannot rave about it enough! I owe a huge thank you to whoever was my occupational therapist. During late elementary school through early middle school, I vividly remember her asking me, what I saw, how they felt, why this expression was separate from that expression—it helped grasp a lot with social cues. Then, came my speech therapist in high school. I began telling her about certain situations between my friends and me. Moments that confused me or where awkward, where she helped me see what went wrong and what I can say and do next time something similar happened. Speech and Occupational therapy are important for any age. Once you learn a lot of nonverbal cues, interactions and socializing get easier.
  5. Say, “I have Non-Verbal Learning Disability,” when you need to say it. Say it when you are comfortable enough to reveal it. You will find a lot of people will not know what it is, but it’s so much better to let them know what you have rather than the awkwardness that might besmirch a great conversation. Also, if their reaction is not a positive one, don’t let their ignorance ruin you day. I was 25-years-old and refused service at a liquor store because a manager thought I was drunk when I was just being loud in the isles with my friends. I looked him straight in the face, telling him, “I have Non-Verbal Learning Disability, which makes me struggle to understand tone of voice…” I offered to walk in a straight line or do anything to prove I wasn’t drunk. He wouldn’t budge and my friends asked if they could buy my alcohol for me. He allowed it and I dwelled over what happened. I was mad at myself that I let one of my symptoms take over. All before my friend said, “You were louder in the restaurant we went to than in the store and we didn’t get kicked out of the restaurant. Don’t feel bad about it. Honestly, the manager was probably having a bad day and took it out on you.” One thing I have learned is that nobody comes into this world understanding it. Who knows that manager looked up Non-Verbal Learning Disability after I left and saw I was telling the truth? Don’t let a situation like mine ever bring you down. Rise above! Speak up!

Olivia

Olivia is a Project Social Ambassador from Illinois. She is a singer songwriter who was unaware of her NVLD for many years while growing up. She describes herself as an outgoing, ambitious, advernturous person who never gives up in a world of uncertainty.

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