Is Nonverbal Learning Disability as bad as it seems?
June 12, 2011 10:53 AM Subscribe
How do I look forward and be optimistic when the more I learn about my son's Nonverbal Learning Disability the more scared and grief-stricken I become? He's almost 17 and will be a junior in September in public high school, and he's been unsuccessful at everything he's ever tried to do.
posted by maloon to Human Relations (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Previously he was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at 5 years old, but in April we had a neuropsych eval that scratched that, and determined him NLD. He had lots of interventions as a young child with the dx of Aspergers that really helped...occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and social skills classes, so its not like he has been without support. He had accommodations in grade school and middle school, never an IEP, and his grades have mostly been average to above average, except of course in math.
His executive function has always been ridiculous and this year he started to melt down pretty bad and begged us to put him on meds for attention deficit, hence the April neuropsych eval. He started Concerta a month ago and he was pretty psyched about it the first 2 weeks, but the last 2 weeks seem to him a let down. We go back to the pediatrician next week to follow up if this med is working or not, and he starts psychological counseling with the group that did the eval next week as well.
Meanwhile, I'm realizing how dead-on the diagnosis of NLD over Aspergers is and I'm feeling more despondent as I look into it because the outlook seems much bleaker. I feel as if it were Aspergers, then he would eventually settle on an 'obsession' and make his way in the world with it, happy unto himself. But now learning about NLD I'm afraid all his 'gifted' verbal strengths really add up to gobbledygook and the cold hard truth is he won't be able to get ahead and loneliness, anxiety and depression will get him.
He's a very physically fit and very good looking kid (weightlifting and nutrition we thought might have been his latest AS 'obsession') which just seems like cruel irony because I think the world expects so much more from this seemingly bright kid. He's only ever had vague sets of friends through the years and no one ever really close and he's always eventually pinched out. Now he's suffering the realization that he's a 'joke' on his recreational baseball team and he wanted more than anything to be respected and hold his own on the no-cut high school football team, but he just doesn't have it and now he's brokenheartedly about to give it up (for the best IMO,) and it's just wreaking havoc with his self-esteem, making him very angry and shut down. Now we're trying to teach him to drive and it feels impossible (driving school etc) and he feels like such a loser, and we're all thinking the same thing...is there anything this kid can do?
So how do I dismiss the possibility (and should I) that this kid just might never make it out there on his own and how do I help him keep hope alive?