Differences between AS & NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    My son has had comprehensive neuro-psychiatric testing done twice, once when he was 4, and again when he was 11. Both times he was diagnosed with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), but Aspergers was never mentioned to me the first time, and the second time the psychologist ruled it out. However, from reading posts here on this board, it sounds like some docs are now saying it is one in the same?

    I would like to get your thoughts and feedback on this. What do you think the differences are between AS and NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)? What are the determining factors for AS after you have already gotten a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) diagnosis? Is there a way to really know for sure either way?

    Thanks for your help in my enlightenment. :redface:
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    I won't be much help I'm afraid. All I know is that I have heard they are very similar. Which one gets more services? That's the one I'd go with :smile:
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think the differences, as explained to me, are that kids/adults with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) are friendlier and show more emotions. Other than that they are very similar, and there are professionals who think they are the same. I always though I couldn't be an Aspie because I'm very creative, but people with Aspergers are often very talented creatively! Many draw or write, etc. Even if they are two different disorders, and the neuropsychologist I saw thinks that they are, the way the two disorders affects the person is similar. I would have done well with interventions geared towards AS. I also have something many Aspies have--face blindness (inability to recognize people). Have short term memory problems and executive function issues too--I don't think any disorder exists in a vacuum. JMO
  4. SuzyfromTexas

    SuzyfromTexas New Member

    My son had testing as well from a reputable psychologist for about 8 - 10 hours when he just tuned six.

    He was not given an official diagnosis since he did not meet the official criteria, but has charateristics of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). He has a 14 point spread between verbal abilities (very high) and non-verbal (average). If you don't mind, could you tell me your son's difference? I understand if you you want to keep that info confidential. This is just my opinion (I am not a doctor and have only done a little research) but NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) kids to me seem more social. Yes, they may have problems with social interactions but do want them. Aspies may not be bothered as much by the lack of social reprocity. I could be totally wrong on this....
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Studies conducted by the Yale Child-Study Group suggest that up to 80% of children who meet the criteria for AD also have NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). While there are no studies on overlap in the other direction, most likely children with the more severe forms of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) also have AD. Children from both groups are socially awkward and pay over-attention to detail and parts, while missing main themes or underlying principles. However, by convention, the two groups differ in the range of severity. Professionals reserve an AD diagnosis for children with more severe social impairment and behavioral rigidity; some symptoms may overlap with high functioning autism. There are degrees of severity within AD but not to the extent that is acceptable in diagnosing NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). These degrees can range from extreme autistic behavior to cases where the social difficulties are very subtle and the academic/cognitive difficulties are more prominent.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Suzy, I think, without looking at the testing, his point difference is 23. He scored in the above average range for verbal, but average for performance. He has always craved social interactions, and has deep intuition about people, which is why the psychiatrists have not wanted to label him as AS. None the less, as he has gotten older, the more AS types of things seem to be surfacing - thus my confusion about how best to help him.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Any difference 12 points and above is significant.

    One of the other things that is often heard about children with a firm diagnosis of NLD are serious motor skills problems--balance problems such as falling off chairs, problems with personal space and determining space, fine motor, etc.

    The doctor who first assessed my difficult child was leaning in the direction of NLD until the testing showed him to be significantly higher in visual than verbal so that nixed that diagnosis. In the end he said he could walk down the spectrum and pick out traits from most of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s--there was overlap and nothing was clear cut diagnostically.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I think there was only an 8 point spread difference with my difficult child. She was high average in verbal and low average in non-verbal. She does have issues with balance (I've always said she could fall down just standing still) and personal space. And no sense of direction. At. All. Thank God for GPS or she'd never be able to drive.

    The neuropsychologist mentioned something about losing herself in space and time. I can't remember exactly.
  9. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    I always thought of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) as asperger's without the restricted interests. They also have VIQ>PIQ (which is the opposite of autism), visual-perceptual-motor skill problems (also unlike autism) and difficulties with math. They share the social skill problems but to a lesser degree.

    It isn't a recognized label in the DSM-IV or in the schools so asperger's is a more useful label to get services.
  10. SuzyfromTexas

    SuzyfromTexas New Member

    Does anyone know if the gap can be closed as they get older or is the spread between VIQ and PIQ is set for life? Just curious. Also, if anyone has any secret tips for improvement, please pass along. Thanks.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know that mine didn't. I don't know if the gap can be closed with the proper interventions.
    A variance of twenty points is what I was told signified a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). Aspies are VERY verbal, but fall off on performance level, so I see the relationship. Also, Aspies often do want friends, but have no clue how to make them. Of course, everyone is different.
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    To my knowledge the gap will never close.......but who knows because this field is all so new. My son was tested when 4 and again when 11, and the gap was the same. However, IF someone was to intervene like they do with an Autistic child with these NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) kids, who is to know. I wish I had access to someone who has done this sort of research. In our case, it is probably too late - but in your's Suzy - it may not. Let me know if you find anything.
  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

  14. ma2sevn

    ma2sevn New Member

    what does NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) actually stand for? I have a boy diagnosis AS, but you guys lost me on the NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD).....Thanks for the info
  15. ma2sevn

    ma2sevn New Member

    I think I figured it out,,(duh, me) Non verbal learning disorder?
    Now I have to go back and re-read your posts cause my AS kids is way verbal and I mean he is a talker. Especially about all the imaginations and fears and whatever animal he thinks he is that day etc. Thanks
  16. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! My guys were both diagnosed with Aspergers, but show some of the NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) (as I'm reading your descriptions - never heard of this diagnosis) traits.

    We're finding help for them as situations develop. They both CRAVE friends, but cannot figure out the best way to make them. So, here we go researching Social Skills classes. They both have HORRIBLE handwriting - you guessed it, occupational therapy. One goal that they both seem most focused on is to drive ME crazy as quickly as possible! :smile:

    Basically: I'm obtaining as many services as quickly as possible (which is why I like the Aspie diagnosis) to asuage my own potential guilt. I don't want to sit there 20 years down the road and say "Shoulda, coulda, woulda". I figure they'll be on the "couch" blaming me for everything ANYWAY, but at least I can pull out a list to hand their therapists showing what I tried to do!!! :rofl:

    Aspies tend to get a lot of services, (where I don't know for sure) with the other diagnosis, they'd encounter a lot of "he needs PT, Occupational Therapist (OT) or Speech" as opposed to all the other stuff he may need. Just a hunch!

  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did get Disability for a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), but they also said bipolar, which I'm not sure I have (I do know I have a mood disorder of some sort--I can feel it). I was told the bipolar got me the Disability, but I don't know. As early as sixteen years old, I had trouble holding jobs. If I have to do more than one thing at a time, I get confused and fired. If I have to assemble anything, I can't. I have no sense of spatial orientation. I can barely put together a child's puzzle. I wonder, if I went to school now, if I'd get no services because it has to say "Aspergers."
    At the same time, I have published several books on e-pubs, selling a lot of copies. THAT is a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)--good to great verbal skills with average to poor performance level skills. In my case, the difference between verbal iq and performance iq is about forty points, which is HUGE.
  18. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think there is a lot of overlap between NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and Asperger's, but I'm not sure that they are the same disorder.

    From research I've done, it seems that there are so many traits that indicate AS, and many of the same traits indicate NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). I don't think any of these conditions exists in a vacuum, and since the "official" diagnoses are still relatively new, the professionals are still figuring it all out too.

    My difficult child, who has a clear diagnosis of Asperger's, has the opposite of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). His performance IQ is significantly higher than his verbal IQ. This despite the fact that he has an extensive vocabulary and never shuts up.

    Asperger's as a label may very well allow for access to more services than a diagnosis as NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). Until the psychiatric community figures out the difference, I think the only available information comes from those of us who either have one or both disorders, or are parents to children who do.

    Just my $0.02