I was inspired by David Snape’s (please check out his blog, lots of cool stories on there) sharing of his life with Autism.
Autism is medically defined as a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts, whereas NLD is medically defined as trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language and may have poor coordination. Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVD or NVLD), is a disorder which is usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills.
Someone explain to me how these two condions are not related? Last time I checked, there is a spectrum, Autism vs Aspbergers, with a shit ton of conditions between them, INCLUDING NLD. At least, it did until the scumbags who created the spectrum recently removed it and made it its own category. Not sure why they fucking did that considering the symptoms of NLD significantly mirror Autism!
When I was little, around the age of 9, I was diagnosed with NLD. My teachers had zero idea what the fuck it was, and frequently asked my parents, “wait, how is she nonverbal? She can talk and communicate with us and other students” to which they thought, “uh, dumbass! Nonverbal doesn’t mean THAT YOU CAN’T TALK!” Would you like some proof that me being nonverbal isn’t being unable to speak? Trust me, if you ask my family if I can talk, they’ll whole heartedly agree.
Take it away, Merrium Webster!
a : being other than verbal nonverbal factors
b : involving minimal use of language nonverbal tests
c : ranking low in verbal skill a nonverbal child
My parents had to fight really fucking hard to get the modifications that I desperately needed in school because my idiot teachers didn’t understand and neglected to research NLD. Advocating for your child when they’re on the spectrum is essential to them being successful in their adult lives. We can’t do it on our own, and I certainly couldn’t find the words that I needed in order to convey what I required or why I was so upset. If you don’t have an IEP for your spectrum child, I feel bad for your kid, because you aren’t doing them any favors, and early intervention is extremely important. If a teacher says something is off, put your big boy or big girl panties on, and fucking get them tested. I understand that getting this news is heart breaking, but you have to suck it up and do what’s best for your child!
I also want to point out that some kids with NLD are in wheelchairs because they can’t hold themselves up, as well as severe cases of Autism and Aspergers. Some need help eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, writing, all of the things that you take for granted they need help with. So don’t you dare stand there (or sit, idc) on your platform soapbox thingy and tell us that our symptoms aren’t serious because I guarantee you that most of the people who are like that are on the spectrum.
I am/was extremely fortunate to have such wonderful parents who got me the help I needed immediately after my kindergarten teacher said, “hey, Emily said this and I’m concerned”. If you’re curious what I said, apparently my teacher asked what color crown we wanted, and I said diamond, lmao. There were other signals I gave out too but that’s not my point here.
My point is – if you receive news or notice that your child is really struggling, please, for the love of God, get them tested. Sitting there crying because your baby is on the spectrum isn’t doing them any good, and certainly doesn’t help you either!
In closing, NLD is most definitely on the spectrum, take it from someone who suffers from it to this day, but that’s another post. The spectrum should contain NLD, and many people are struggling with it being removed. I feel like it’s inconsiderate to have removed it and it’s a huge slap in the face that it’s JUST classified as a learning disorder, when Autism and Aspergers cause difficulty, sometimes inability, to learn and retain information. It makes me angry that people say that it isn’t Autism. There’s nothing wrong with being on the spectrum, in fact, I think it’s pretty damn awesome. We understand things differently than others, have more empathy than the average person, and have gifts of all different kinds. Leaning new ideas is really fucking hard, but we do it anyway! Don’t get frustrated with us just because we’re special, get angry because you’re not cool enough to have a spectrum disorder.