Non Verbal Learning Disability - Parents with experience please help!

Heidi - posted on 05/15/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Okay so here's the thing: My 11 yr old son has recently been diagnosed with a Non-Verbal Learning Disability. For years people thought he had a social phobia, or anxiety. Turns out that can be part and parcel with NVLD. Can parents of kids who have/are living with this offer some ideas as to what this is like as my son ages, and hits puberty? Friendship is already a hurdle. Will it get any easier? H

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Diane - posted on 05/22/2010

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Anyone can write a social story to address a circumstance that your child is struggling with. I have a binder filled with stories my son's aides have written over the years. It could be as simple as a small comic strip, with 3-5 bubbles with stick figures. Top strip showing a bad choice, and how peers reacted negatively. Then another strip below showing a better behavior choice, with much more positive peer reaction.

As the child matures, a story could be one or two short paragraphs to explain a social situation, and help the child make proper choices with peer interaction.

Aides used to keep all of the social stories in a binder, and review various stories as needed. For instance, the field trip stories would be reviewed before a field trip, as reminder of expectations and rules.

New stories were added as school personnel identified social issues, playground disputes, rules infractions, etc. Social stories can be very effective to help a child understand the perspective of others, and how the child's choices can affect his/her day.

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Donna - posted on 05/17/2010

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If you search google you will find many social stories. We have used many of them with our son. He is understanding alot more and in some cases will ad lib himself. I have written a few of my own for problems we have ran into over the many years of trying to teach him. I have done many hours of therapy here at home with him. It has been very cool watching his lightbulb moments. Hooray!

Heidi - posted on 05/16/2010

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I've never heard the term "social stories" before. How do they work, and how do you use them? I might already be doing this with thim, but I figure it can't hurt to clarify. H

Renee - posted on 05/16/2010

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Got it - those are alot of the same challenges that children and adults face with autism and aspergers. My son, with autism, does not get sarcasm, irony and slang as well. So I would put together social stories which explain what to do in specific situations, he will, of course have to learn to ad lib a bit and eventually be able to move past the rules but social stories are practice for real world situations and they have helped my son tremendously.

Heidi - posted on 05/15/2010

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Sorry - I know that it sounds like he is non - verbal, but it is just the opposite. Children with a Non-Verbal Learning Disability are verbally very strong. They excel when tested verbally, but fall to pieces in "non-verbal" areas. So things like English Composition, math problems that are word problems (disconnect between the written and thought processes. He also cannot deal with "gray" areas in life. Things like body language, slang, euphemisms, etc. They are very challenging and frustrate him greatly. He loves to learn the "rules" in social situations, but doesn't get that real life requires him to ad lib a bit. So he will try something once to see what kind of reaction he gets. If it is a laugh, he'll "ride that pony all the way to town". So to speak. It can be frustrating for everone else, becuase its enough to drive you batty sometimes. Anyways, I just thought I'd clear it up. He is a bit of a chatter box, so talking isn't his barier. To me, it feels like everything else is a barrier.

H

Renee - posted on 05/15/2010

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Is he completely non-verbal? Just curious. Google - HALO-Soma. Soma is a woman in Austin Tx who has received world wide recognition for teaching previously non-verbal children and adults on the Autism spectrum to communicate. Her methods are widely accepted and sought after. Good luck to you!

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