- How to deal with friends and family who always have some “helpful” advice, which is pure criticism in reality?
Language skills are often highly prized by our society and they are related to ability and maturity. Because of NLD child’s premature language skills, family members and friends will often realize what they think to be a smart and social child. Many are not able to see the difficulties of the child and believe that if some problem exist, it is the outcome of bad parenting more than a defect. These people are usually family members that produce even harder situations. Unfortunately, this is the most common case. Comments and suggestions are such as: you take care of him too much, let him learn from his mistakes, good spanking is all he needs, do not be too protective, and similar. You should believe in your intuition without caring about comments of ignorant persons. Give the tips about NLD to your friends and family and stimulate them to show interest in your child. It will be great if they answer positively. In the case of negative respond of these individuals, you should dissociate yourself from them. They are people who ignore and refuse the information you provide. Do no waste your precious time on that. They do not consider your child as a relevant and do not have in mind their interests. It is easier to say it than to do it, but it is better not to be in contact with them. Your child could be a victim of their dumbness and every attempt to explain them the real situation could end as an unpleasant confrontation.
- Does NLD have some subtypes? Some NLD characteristics are present within my child, but not every symptom of it.
NLD subtypes are not found in any official research made by scientists. Dr. Rourke established a group of norms for NLD Syndrome. However, there is an important dissimilarity when comparing children with NLD Syndrome and those who have some disabilities related to learning and nonverbal area. These children do not have the entire NLD Syndrome, only some defects like dysgraphia, dyscalculia, organizational difficulty or social deficit. It is crucial to have knowledge whether the child is recognized with a nonverbal learning disability or with the Syndrome of NLD.
- Is there any difference between Asperger Syndrome and NLD?
Big controversy circulates about what is the difference between Asperger Syndrome and NLD. One thing is certain: children with Asperger Syndrome have much bigger behavioral troubles and a restricted area of interest, which obstruct their capacity to learn. Some studies conducted on Yale University suggest that most individuals with Asperger Syndrome also suffer from NLD. The research of Dr. Rourke shows that all persons with AS also have NLD. Unluckily, most of the children who have AS usually have autism, but they are not marked as autistic, because of the bad label or because their symptoms are mild for being diagnosed as autistic. This creates a confusion when it comes to the learning styles of children. Those with autism prefer visual strategies of teaching while those children with AS and NLD perform better with auditory strategies. Many people are not aware that diagnoses of NLD and AS come from disciplines that are different. The area of psychiatry/psychology diagnoses and researches AS, and the area of neuropsychology diagnoses and researches NLD. Patient’s tests, observation and history are relevant for diagnosing AS and they are connected with the manifestation of this disorder. Many things are taken into account, but the most important is the person’s response in different situations. A person with NLD will not be diagnosed by psychiatrist/psychologist because the American Psychiatric Association did not enter this disorder into official documents. NLD can be diagnosed by using the history of the patient and through a wide protocol of testing which shows how the person’s brain acts in the surrounding of particular neuropsychological deficits and assets. Individual’s weaknesses and strengths are exposed in this way, as an outcome of that profile.
- Presenting parenting side, how can I assist my child to keep and make friends?
If you have a young child, you can organize play meetings with children of similar age. It is smart to create these dates at home. Therefore, you can be part of it. The important thing is to have planned activities in advance so the child does not have to think about it. If the friends invite your child to a birthday party, it would be good for you to also show up. Pay attention to your child’s behavior and help him/her in communication if necessary. If the children play some game, offer yourself to define the rules. Social activities should be also organized at your home and if you have the older child, they could play and socialize together. Be sure that your plans involve the other child, who will find these activities interesting. Create pleasant atmospheres to ensure that the other children will be back again. Do not be boring with your contribution, but be around when your help is needed. NLD kids perform best in the situations of one-on-one contact. Therefore, allow them to have many contacts of this kind.
- What are the best activities for NLD children?
Good activities for these kids are electronic toys and computer games. Game Boy and similar gadgets are highly recommended. If the child has good skills in that, they will be recognized by the friends, which will immediately help your child to socialize better. There are many other activities that improve your child’s coordination and motor skills. Some of them are archery, swimming, hiking, skating and many others. Private lessons will be a good start. When the child’s skills evolve, introduce him/her to the group. It will be very beneficial in the social aspect. Stay away from team sports. Children with NLD have difficulties with understanding the rules. The main purpose is to develop confidence and competence. Be careful with your NLD child. He/she should be involved in the wide range of activities and engagements that will help in socialization.