Growing up with an NVLD can lead to multiple challenges so understandably you have an extremely high risk for developing low self-esteem. The most common cause of low self-esteem is being misunderstood. Classmates may see your social challenges as odd, teachers raising or lowering their expectations for you, and the many other challenges are all situations that can have a negative effect on your development. They often leave you wondering why you are so different from others who have a learning disability.
Low self-esteem not only brings down your grades and your level of happiness it also leads you to feeling worthless and that no one believes in you which leads to anxiety. I know when I received a test back that had a low grade I always came home in a bad mood. I would say things like “Why am I so stupid. I study through all week and still just barely pass.” It was so confusing as despite my learning disability I was doing quite well in my classes but my poor working memory made most tests so hard.
Since poor social, academic, and motor skills are common components of a non-Verbal Learning Disability it’s no surprise that major issues arise for those who have NVLD. Students can feel like they struggle in everything they do which can result in thinking or saying hurtful comments to themselves. Unlike a student with a reading disability who is likely to have talents in other areas, the NVLD student’s deficits often shows up everywhere. For me this was the case. I always finished last in my races even though I practiced so hard everyday. My grades were also low to average even though I spent more time on my homework than most others. It always bothered me that the other people I knew who had a disability were either decent or great runners though what I didn’t understand was how different their disability was compared to mine.
The hardest part about having low self-esteem is that it affects your personal relationships negatively so getting support is vital. Counseling is typically the first support offered. The counselor works with you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and then helps you talk about your personal issues in a healthier way which increases your self-esteem. Another method to help raise self-esteem is to take the most challenging courses possible and getting involved in school activities such as a sports team or music program. Through your experiences with both of these and overcoming the challenges you face along the way your self esteem will be impacted in a positive way.
Overall overcoming low self-esteem is something that is difficult to do. However if you take advantage of the support offered through counseling, group activities and other offerings you can learn how to turn your thoughts into a more positive light and begin to feel better. By accepting your disability and trusting the support that is available you can live a fulfilling and happy life.
So grateful for all of those who have believed in me!