web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Non-Verbal Learning Disorder: Bridging The Gap Between Speech And Understanding

Schonfeld-logo1

Yaakov stuck out his hand and said, “Nice to meet you,” when he was introduced to a new classmate. The rest of the students raised their eyebrows and stared at him quizzically, but Yaakov didn’t notice.

He remembered every word his teacher said, but messed up on math problems, adding instead of subtracting and subtracting when he was supposed to add.

He was great at reading individual words and sentences, but he didn’t understand the main idea of the story when his teacher asked. In first and second grade, he was one of the best readers, but as the years progressed, he was falling behind.

He never learned to ride a bike and had some trouble when he needed to use scissors because he could never figure out how to hold them quite right.

As Yaakov got older, he was anxious about meeting new people. Sometimes he just didn’t want to leave the house.

 

***

For a lot of educators and parents, Yaakov is an anomaly. He is able to pay attention for long periods of time (ruling out ADHD), he memorizes and speaks sophisticatedly (ruling out many processing disorders), he reads without much difficulty (ruling out dyslexia) and he rarely picks fights with other children (ruling out ODD). So, what’s holding Yaakov back?

Yaakov is exhibiting classic symptoms of Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD). Because the children suffering from this disorder generally have wonderful verbal skills, the disability can go unrecognized for many years.

NLD is characterized by predominantly left-brain activity. There are three categories of dysfunction:

 

Motor

Children with NLD have a history of poor motor coordination. The child may constantly “get in the way,” bumping into objects and people. As toddlers, children with NLD will explore their worlds verbally by asking questions, rather than moving around, because they have trouble with balance. To that end, children may have a fear of heights and avoid climbing up on the jungle gym. They also prefer to eat or work on the floor because they feel more secure.

Later, this poor motor coordination causes problems with various skills: bike riding and tying shoes are extremely difficult. These skills can take years to master as opposed to the days or months that other children need. In school, children with NLD will have trouble grasping the pen and writing. Often, they are described as “drawing” rather than writing when attempting to create compositions, as they create each letter from memory.

 

Visual-Spatial-Organizational

Children with NLD do not form visual images and therefore cannot create a visualization of something they have seen previously. Instead, they focus on the details and fail to see the “total picture.”

As a result, children with NLD will firmly connect themselves to an adult so that they can continually dialogue with him or her about what is going on around them. They need to verbally label everything that happens in order to memorize and comprehend what most people effortlessly recognize and internalize. Rather than store memories visually, those with NLD store them verbally. For this reason, they don’t enjoy going to new places or trying new things as they can’t figure out the clues that others assimilate naturally.

This lack of memory causes all writing tasks to be slow and arduous. In addition, copying accurately from the board or a book is impractical and agonizing for these children.

 

Social

As children with NLD have trouble recognizing nonverbal behavior such as change in tone, facial expression, or physical proximity, they miss the bulk of communication. Though they want to conform socially, they often struggle to fit in and are labeled by their peers as “annoying” or “awkward.”

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Non-Verbal Learning Disorder: Bridging The Gap Between Speech And Understanding”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
"Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah." That's his Jihad. What's yours? - An ad campaign sponsored by  the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
MTA Hopes to Change Rule, Ban ‘Killing Jews’ Anti-Jihad Ad
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

A lot of people have heard about dyslexia, a learning disability that concerns reading.

Because birth order can affect most children in similar fashion, there are things you can do to help your children overcome weaknesses that birth order has thrown their way.

Occasionally, a teacher will encounter a student who simply cannot be motivated to do his homework, finish his worksheet or study for a test.

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/non-verbal-learning-disorder-bridging-the-gap-between-speech-and-understanding/2014/08/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: