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NVLD Bloggers

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Non-Verbal Learning Disability Super Powers, by Megan

By NVLD Bloggers

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!
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Advice for NVLD students Part A , by Eileen

By NVLD Bloggers

While I am not a special education teacher or another provider like a school psychologist I am very familiar with what NVLD students truly need to overcome the disability and have success. Having this understanding comes from remembering all the techniques and methods that my teachers, therapists, and coaches used with me over the years. Their willingness and openness to do things differently contributed to my success. Read More

NVLD & Me, by Jake

By NVLD Bloggers

As most people who have NVLD know, it’s very hard to understand people. However, I’ve never struggled to understand film and television. From as far back as I remember I was entranced with the medium. Hell, I even would take sayings or attributes from fictional characters to help me in social settings. I used to be scared of flying until one day my mom asked me “What would Nightwing do?” and my fears were absolved. Read More

Part B: Describing When These Services And Supports Are Needed On Your IEP, By Eileen

By Eileen, NVLD Bloggers

In my previous piece, I discussed how students with an NVLD can sometimes have too many services and modifications to address different areas of weaknesses. However, I do believe services for many  NVLD students are typically necessary at least in the elementary years as gaining these skills is so important to help make school and life as successful as possible. However, I do understand your child’s frustrations as it took me a while to understand the need for these services too. Read More

Part A: Advice for Writing an IEP and Personal Goals for NVLD Students

By NVLD Bloggers

While I understand students with an NVLD need to address all their areas of weakness such as their slower processing speed, motor skills deficits, and poor visual processing skills, I also believe students sometimes receive too many services and modifications to help them overcome these.  I believe this because their self-esteem greatly decreases as they are intelligent enough to realize having these modifications and receiving services isn’t the “norm” which can make them feel “stupid” compared to others. Due to this, I feel services should be delivered through the push-in model or through indirect services. Also, I feel accommodations should be used before modifications.
One example of this is placing  NVLD students with gross motor deficits in Adaptive Physical Education for their gym placement. I understand these deficits need to be addressed so one solution would be to provide push-in services.  This would entail having an APE and regular Gym Teacher co-teach the class. It would allow the students to receive the modifications and accommodations they need while learning the importance of physical activity with all of their classmates.  An example of this would be lowering the net for volleyball and always offering programs like weight training at the secondary level. Studies show these students  are more accepting of the services this way. Personally, I would agree with this theory.  I  enjoyed  gym class so much more when students like myself started to receive push-in and indirect APE Services  which for me  was in the 3rd grade  as I loved participating with my classmates.

Another example is having  work modified rather than using accommodations. The downside  of modifying is that it can often give students a false vision of what they’re really achieving. Many students do notice this at the end of year through their lower than hoped for grades on their final and state exams. One suggestion is to have teachers use ‘effort’ grading. This  is often better as the student still completes all of the requirements but effort is included more when grades are calculated. This also involves your academic teachers sharing what your strengths and weaknesses were for each marking period with your resource room teacher. This gives you more of an understanding of what you have actually achieved and where improvements need to be made. Passing my regents exams made me a believer in this approach.

The next example is continuing a shared teacher’s aide in high school. In my experience needing direct support such as a scribe decreases as most courses are lecture and discussion based and teachers often provide notes  to you on a powerpoint. However I do agree that in classes like a science lab an aide is often necessary as  many NVLD students have fine motor skills deficits so needing assistance in the lab setting is likely. Therefore having  a part time shared aide on your IEP for the beginning of high school and gradually removing it would likely be a better option. I believe this because removing my aide support led me to being a much more  active participant in my classes. More importantly I learned how to go to my teachers to get  my class notes and to  set up test/quizzes arrangements which prepared me for college.

Another example being pulled out for Speech Therapy  as eventually it reduces the amount of class time you have to  finish your academic requirements and this can overwhelm some students.However I completely understand many face social communication deficits so continuing  speech therapy is so important for their overall success..  Therefore studies do show a good  solution would be  to have both pull out and push in support starting in 7th or 8th grade which could take place during your resource room period.  Your difficulties such as asking questions appropriately and following directions would be addressed by helping you with  your assignments not just  through direct practice. Personally I do agree with it as  through receiving speech therapy through both models I observed an increase in my motivation levels  which brought greater progress..

Lastly, saying  yes to every offered service  isn’t necessarily a good idea as leaving the classroom too much can hurt the students emotionally. These services are typically needed especially  in the beginning school years though understandably being  in the classroom is important too for social and academic development.Therefore, parents and  IEP teams should decide what services are the most needed.  If you’re unsure a reasonable approach would be to pick one or two  services that you believe can be effective through using the push in model . The reason being  you have to remember, a typical school day is only 7 hours so spending as much as time as possible in the classroom is vital to achieve social and academic success.

Eileen

Eileen is a Project Social Ambassador and blogger for The NVLD Project. She loves helping others understand they can achieve their goals and dreams through hard work and dedication.

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What NVLD Students Truly Need , by Eileen

By NVLD Bloggers

Two things I greatly believe that are especially important for students with an NVLD and similar disabilities are that they need to be in regular classrooms as much as possible for both services and courses and that special education coordinators need to be very mindful of who they assign as a paraprofessional for these students. The reason is that these students need more practice with social skills than others so being in the classroom and having an aide who has the skills and the personality to connect with all classmates makes creating friendships easier. This can be tricky but I do believe it’s doable and will benefit you. Read More

You Are More Than Your Label , by Jennifer

By NVLD Bloggers

I want to talk today about being more than the labels we were given. Whether that’s short, tall, thin, big, smart, stupid, white, black or brown, LGBTQ. Sorry if I forgot one of those letters in there. Neurotypical or neurodiverse. I don’t want to minimize these labels if you think they are part of you. But I want to remind you that they aren’t the totality of you. I hope that makes sense. Do you ever feel excluded because of the label you were given by a social construct? I mean construct or by doctors, therapists, professionals, or politicians? I know for me it’s often difficult to think of my qualities that aren’t related to my NLD or chronic migraine condition. I do know that I am more than these two labels in my social life. I’m a podcaster minister’s daughter and one of the project social ambassadors for The NVLD Project In the work world, I am an admin app and a tech social media assistant. and freelancer with custom tech services.  Read More