Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
by Debora Omari
Teachers or parents are often the first to notice reading problems in students. Most of the time, appropriate help is readily available at school. However, there are other issues that may cause students to struggle at school. Because these issues are not as well-known, they may be overlooked. Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities fall into this category.
Students with Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities have verbal strengths and above-average cognitive skills. However, these students struggle with academic work because they have difficulty integrating details into a "bigger picture". As a result, they tend to become quickly overwhelmed with details when learning new information, have difficulty understanding general concepts, and tend to fall back on rote skills as a way of trying to solve more complex problems -- a strategy that is often unsuccessful.
Students with Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities also have trouble interpreting social cues, which can lead to misunderstandings with peers. The may be misunderstood by adults, too, who wonder why a child with such excellent verbal skills struggles with both school work and friends. These misunderstandings may place a child with Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities at risk for emotional issues, especially when the disorder remains unidentified.
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