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By Julie Yindra SBA National Conference Orlando, FL July 2009 NLD in Adolescents and Adults with SB: Strategies for Success.

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Presentation on theme: "By Julie Yindra SBA National Conference Orlando, FL July 2009 NLD in Adolescents and Adults with SB: Strategies for Success."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Julie Yindra SBA National Conference Orlando, FL July 2009 NLD in Adolescents and Adults with SB: Strategies for Success

2 What Is NLD? Nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) is a neurological syndrome consisting of specific assets and deficits. The assets include early speech and vocabulary development, remarkable rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development and excellent spelling skills. In addition, these individuals have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently. Moreover, persons with NLD have strong auditory retention. Source:

3 Four Major Categories of Deficit and Dysfunction Motoric-lack of coordination, severe balance problems and difficulties with graphomotor skills Visual/spatial/organizational skills-visual recall, faulty spatial relations/perceptions, **poor executive functioning, sequence, chronology ** Executive Function is the one that presents the biggest problems for us in adult life, and will be thoroughly discussed in the strategy section

4 Four Categories (cont’d) Social-Lack of ability to comprehend non-verbal communication, difficulty adjusting to transition and novel situations and deficits in social judgment and interaction Sensory-Sensitivity in any of the sensory modes (though this is less common than the first 3)

5 Neuropsychological Profile Full Range of IQ Visual/spatial deficits-poor appreciation of gestalt, body in space, sometimes left side inattention/neglect, may have highly developed but ritualized drawing skills that show detail orientation Rote linguistic skills are normal, in many cases advanced (repetition, naming, vocabulary, spelling, rote recall of story, syntactic comprehension)

6 Neuropsych. Profile (Cont’d) Pragmatic use of language is impaired (main point, inference, disorganized narrative) Rythmn, volume and prosody of oral language is often disturbed Poor fine and gross motor coordination are common Distinction between figure and ground is disturbed Attentional problems may seem indicative of ADHD symptoms, but once we know what to attend to, we can become focused and sustain attention to detail for an extended period

7 Academics In early years, “little professor” Difficulties are often picked up late due to advanced decoding, spelling and vocabulary Inferential reading comprehension in comparison to decoding Math is often the first academic subject to be recognized as a problem Math facts may be readily mastered, but abstract concepts of math may escape us (we may know our multiplication tables, but not know what they mean)

8 Academics (Cont’d) Due to spatial and fine motor problems, handwriting is usually poor Organizational skills are weak, demonstrated in written work early on Organizational skills become more pronounced in later years, when more time management and independent learning skills are required

9 Social/Emotional Issues Peer relations are typically the greatest area of impairment; child may play with much older or younger children rather than with same age peers, where they must manage give and take. People with NLVD often lack basic social skills: they may stand too close, stare inappropriately or not make eye contact, have marked lack of concern over appearance, be oblivious to others’ reactions, change topics idiosyncratically. Children with NLVD are seen as “odd” children who “just don’t get it” socially. They may do better with adults, where they act dependent and immature, but may not be seen as “odd.” They may show poorly modulated affect, not matched to verbal content. Lack of empathy and social judgment may shield them from fully experiencing the hurt of peer rejection, while the same factors increase the likelihood of being rejected. 2001, David Dinklage. This article first appeared in the Spring 2001 issue of the AANE (Asperger's Association of New EnglandAANE (Asperger's Association of New England

10 Typical Strategies Employed for Difficult Tasks Avoid the task (change the task) Remediate the basic skill deficit or processing deficit implicit in the task (change the person) Develop a systematic strategy to be rehearsed for similar tasks Alter the demands of the task (change the task) Develop a strategy for task completion that reduces the dependence on weaknesses and utilizes strengths (compensatory)

11 Typical Strategies (Cont’d) Utilize technology or other aids to reduce the dependence on deficit skills (compensatory) Practice the procedure for completing the task until it is committed to rote memory (rehearsal)

12 The Process for Developing Coping Skills/Strategies: 1. Anticipate 2. Plan 3. Rehearse 4. Execute 5. Evaluate

13 The Process (Cont’d) Anticipate-What situations are likely to arise that might be problematic? In school? At work? At home? In social situations?

14 The Process (Cont’d) 2. Plan-What could I do to complete the task, meet the challenge, or survive the situation? Things to remember during the planning stage: What are my strengths? Are there alternative ways this task can be done?

15 The Process (Cont’d) 3. Rehearse-Practice the newly learned skills or strategies prior to their necessity in real-life, novel situations. Try to do this in relatively safe environments, with the assistance of friends, family, colleagues, teachers, etc.

16 The Process (Cont’d) Execute- Be brave, dive in and do it! If necessary, talk yourself through it.

17 The Process (Cont’d) Evaluate- Did it work? If not, why? What might work better? Get an objective opinion. This is the most important step! Don’t skip it. If it did work, where else or when else might I use a similar method? Remember that technology is your friend. Putting the time in learning to use tools like electronic calendars, PDA’s, GPS systems is often well worth the initial effort. If you fail, get up, brush off, and try a new way. Plan ahead!


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