Rediscovering Myself After Being Re-Diagnosed with NVLD, by Abby Bell

By September 8, 2016NVLD Bloggers

Hi everyone!

My name is Abby and I’m sharing on what it’s been like being recently re-diagnosed with NVLD.

I was really little when I was diagnosed with learning disabilities so I wasn’t fully aware how they would impact my life until I went to school. I knew I was different from my friends; for a long time I couldn’t put my finger on quite what it was, but knowing I was different made me feel like I would never fit in.

A girl walking with her friends through a parking lot

Image from stocksnap.io

However, as I got older I started to identify less and less with my initial diagnosis, so when the university I was attending gave me an opportunity to be re-assessed, I did not hesitate.

On Halloween of 2014 and after 6 hours of testing, I sat in front of the psychologist, anxious about the results. Without even knowing the full result, he looked me in the eyes and told me that I had a Non-Verbal Learning Disability. I laughed, “How can I have a non-verbal learning disability, I’m a very verbal person.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, me? Not verbal? Alright, go ahead and tell that to my extraverted and bubbly personality.

The doctor laughed and told me what NVLD was really about and a light went on in my mind, one of those “aha” moments. I did more research on it when I went home that evening and everything finally made sense. The following January, the over 30-page document confirmed that I had both ADHD and NVLD. It was a relief but also terrifying. For the previous 13 years I had a label smacked on my forehead and ingrained in my identity that wasn’t even there. I sort of panicked, I had to figure out myself all over again, and I was JUST starting to get a little bit more comfortable in my own skin.

Despite it being a huge adjustment it started to make sense. I started to pay closer attention to how NVLD was a part of how I understood things in life. I’ve been able to get to know myself better and know why I understand or don’t understand things. I’ve been able to develop tools that help me, like how to ask questions to clarify what is being asked, also find out the emotion behind what’s being communicated or how to know when I need to take a step back in social situations where I’m confused; questioning whether a person hates me, or they’re just having a bad day. Developing tools and skills wasn’t an easy process in the beginning, but it’s helped me so much.

Mind you, I still am “getting to know myself” which has been a really cool thing! It’s actually a life-long journey, and I’m hopeful!

For anyone who is struggling right now, there is hope. Keep on keeping on, get the help and support you need.

Abby Bell

I’m Abby, 19 years old from Canada! I’m currently studying Public Relations in school. I love being creative, cozy flannel shirts, tea, being outdoors, writing, and good conversation. I have a blog where I write about life and faith, and a YouTube channel where I post videos about learning disabilities.
My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4a_XcLYAbQnBty2ijE21qw .
Blog: https://anunconditionallovestory.wordpress.com .

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