New here .. seeking guidance

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mysti, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. mysti

    mysti Guest

    Hi everyone! A quick background. I am Mysti, mother to three kids (see siggy). Back story -

    Madison has always seemed to struggle with math, she was late learning numbers (but not letters) read fast and with ease, but struggled to implement lessons in math. We homeschooled through a charter for many years, and when I mentioned my concerns, I was shoved aside, they said it was developmental, not disability etc. So, I said enough is enough when she struggled so much in 3rd grade. She UNDERSTANDS the concepts, but cannot memorize the math (even basic). She barely has under 4 in the concepts of addition memorized. She is FINALLY able to 'count on', but cannot skip count very effectively. She understands how to multiply, but must write out every problem and often her messy handwriting creates a problem when she goes to answer her problems.

    So, after much testing and fighting for it all the way we have been told Dyscalculia with visual-processing disability. Which, the psy (NOT the school psy .. sigh, another story). Says is NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). It makes a world of sense, funny how things just click when a diagnosis is given huh?

    My daughter does not seem to have the social issues that hold hands with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), though she is only 9, but has all of the visual issues!

    She was administered the WISC-IV and her verbal comp score was 104 (61st percentile) 77 in perceptual reasoning (6th percentile). It is my understanding that there should not be a difference in those scores, and that discrepancy often alerts to NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), or like issues. The psy i'm speaking with now say that's a rather large difference.


    Does anyone else have NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and dyscalculia as a result? (and if so, are the social issues there or not, did they not become apparent immediately?) *side note, Madi does seem to catch inferences, and has the ability to be sarcastic etc.*

    I'm just delving into this world of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) ... any and all info advise will be greatly appreciated.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome. Actually, that IS a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). I have one too (along with many other issues). My verbal IQ is 120/performance 85. This makes life difficult because I am so verbally astute that I sound like a college grad (I'm not) yet when hired for a job I struggle (performance). Although I have challenging social skills, they did not really show up at a very young age. I was friendly and talked a lot, however as I got older, people would become annoyed at how I talked too much, too fast, and could not read social cues (things more important when you are older than when you are a little kid). My social skills are better than a person on the autism spectrum, but are still lacking and I had to be in therapy a long time to learn how to interact properly with other people. Left on my own, I talk over people and don't always make appropriate eye contact, etc. I also have a mood disorder and anxiety issues, but I don't believe that necessarily goes along with a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). I struggled TERRIBLY in math while acing anything with reading/English/creative writing. The school made me stop taking math after pre-algebra. They had no Special Education back then and I simply did NOT get math.
    I suggest you take your child to a neuropsychologist. You have a good start on evaluating her, but I don't think anyone does as great a job as a neuropsychologist. Then you can also get suggestions on curriculum and interventions. It may be best to put her in school where she can get the appropriate supports t hat she needs.
  3. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    My mom is Dyscalculic. She is very visual, to the point she is a professional artist. We had a very difficult time helping her to pass the minimum college requirement of pre-algebra. It was the only C she got her entire college career, but she passed. Her social skills are normal. It is a valid learning disability. You want to get an IEP for her and begin to develop strategies and appropriate accommodations for her.
  4. mysti

    mysti Guest

    We have a Neuro psy looking over her test results, and she is going back to being homeschooled soon. Additionally, she will start Occupational Therapist (OT) hopefully at the start of the new year :)

    Thanks for the info!!
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Seeing a neuropsychologist is a good idea. There are so many possibilities here, you need an expert's advice. The best advice I can give you, is to learn to think outside the box and do your best to be proactive with her learning. Find what seems to work for her, and use that.

    For example, difficult child 3 learned best when he could read the information. He has hyperlexia, we've been told, although that is not a well-known label here. He also had significant language delay but has caught up now.

    An exercise we adapted for ourselves, from something the speech therapist gave him, was to buy one of those 20Q games. You have to think of something, then answer the questions with that thing in mind. In answering the questions, you are making more mental connections about that thing or word. NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is actually often associated with fewer mental connections and so anything that puts more in, is a good thing. Especially if it's a game that kids love to play!

  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    My take on this will seem simplistic, but is the heart of the problem that your daughter really struggles with maths (=math)?? I am a little confused as to why this should be classified as part of a disorder that involves problems with social skills.
    I too found maths really difficult. And science virtually impossible. I failed all my maths/science exams with varying degrees of miserableness... Because my "thing" was arts subjects, particularly English, I have just concentrated on those and this "maths/science disability" has never impeded my life as far as I can tell. People just used to think one was "science-oriented" or "arts-oriented" and nothing more to it than that.
    Have things now evolved so that if a child has difficulties like this with a subject they are evaluated and diagnosed with some kind of learning disorder? Or have I misunderstood something?
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Malika, I think this is a matter of degree. The degree of problem here sounds more extreme than simply not having as good an ability in that subject. Certainly it is worth investigating, I feel.

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Mysti.

    I'm glad you got a diagnosis for NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). You spotted a problem, knew it was ingrained and not just acting out, and acted on it. I am also glad you are following up with-a neuropsychologist. You just never know. Everything seems to be on a spectrum and it's best to have as much info as possible.

    It sounds like your little one is a sweetie, and she's lucky to have a mom like you!
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I hope my comments were not taken as some implied criticism of Mysti for getting a diagnosis! Not at all... She is just being a good parent. But I am intrigued by this, nonetheless, and wondering whether it is a reflection of a change in educational practices and "fashions" rather than an inherent "condition", if you see what I mean. When I say I could not do science, I mean I really could not do it or understand it at any level, particularly physics and chemistry, not just that I wasn't very good at it... In the school I was at you had to take a science subject for 'O' levels - external exams taken at 16 - and I got an "unclassified" in the general science I took. So bad that they couldn't even classify it!
    So does that mean that today I and the other "science duds" would be classified with a learning disorder? This is fascinating to me... I have sometimes said, jokingly, my brain just does not work in the right way to understand scientific concepts. Maybe there is more than a joke to it!
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). This means that I am verbally astute and excel in English/reading, but performance level work is very difficult for me. I will explain how this affected me all of my life. I have had a Neurologist explain this to me as well as a neuropsychologist.

    1/I go in for a job interview and sound VERY intelligent, express myself extremely well, and sound as if I will do a great job.

    2/I get the job (almost always, even with a lot of competition) and can not actually DO the work. I have a terrible time learning HOW to do things, whether it is using a computer or putting pieces together in a factory. I have zilch ability to PERFORM, even though I have excellent verbal and writing skills (which often do NOT show up in my

    My verbal IQ is 120, which is nearly superior. My performance level is 85, below average. Everyone has two IQs...verbal and performance. Usually, they are equal. When there is at least a twenty point difference, there is a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). When there is a 40 point different, like with me, there is a HUGE difference and it is a big problem. It is a common trait of Asperger's Syndrome, but nobody thinks I have Aspergers. You can have it without Aspegers. Frustration/rages are common. I used to rage as a child. Lack of coordination is common. I was a klutz. Still am :) And that nasty four letter word...MATH...forgetaboutit!!!! I never understood math and still don't. I wuv my calculator.

    These are kids the teachers scratch their heads over and say, "She's so bright! She must not be trying very hard." But it's not true.

    I don't know if that explained it well. I hope so. If not, I will post a link. This link is an excellent, just perfect description of a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). I was writing and spelling at age two and my mom thought I was a genius. Then there was school and THEN there was work...
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the clarification, that's interesting. You say you cannot learn HOW to do things, whether how to use a computer or putting things together in a factory. Those things are both "technical", calling on practical (and motor?) skills. How would it be if someone asked you to write a report, for example, or analyse information and give a summary?
    My problem with science was that it was so removed from the "real" world, or so it seemed... I could never believe it or remember any or it because it was so unrelated to everything in the life of experience - all those stories about atoms and molecules that you could not SEE! What sense did it all make... Princes and princesses in magical realms, however - that was a different matter!
    It is fascinating to me how people can analyse and understand these learning processes in this way... Incidentally, how do you know all these details, how did you have them tested?
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Malika, in a different time and place you could very well qualify for a learning disorder. Or possibly a different teaching technique might have helped you. Often as kids we get ideas about what we can or can't do, or sometimes we are slower to pick up a particular subject and once we get the idea we can't do it, we are stuck. I struggled with uni the first time around, I just didn't seem to get it. I tried, I put in every effort, I thought I understood, but I could not get a passing grade. The anxiety it built up in me made the problem worse. I finally dropped out and got a job. Years later after I was married and had kids I went back to uni and sailed through.

    I only found out a year ago (from another student at the time) that the main reason I did not do well the first time around, was I did not pick up on the signals from the male lecturers and tutors to "put out". But the knock to my confidence then led to me genuinely doing poorly academically.

    Obviously I'm not saying you did badly in science because you failed to respond to sexual advances! But it is just one example of how sometimes a small, subtle short-term reason can become a much bigger long-term problem.

    Or it could be a learning problem of some sort. But the knock to the confidence it gives you, the belief that you can't do it, it's not your kind of subject, then becomes a self-fulfillnig prophecy.

    husband believes he's bad at maths. But he's actually really good. Now. He had some problems at one time, I suspect the teaching method was very rigid.

    A young friend of mine, she's 12, is absolutely brilliant academically. But back when she was in Grade 2, a teacher repeatedly told the class that they weren't as smart in maths as one boy in the class. She kept praising that boy and putting down all the other kids. She put down my young friend in lots of other ways too, and it took the next few years' hard work to restore the girl's confidence in herself. She still believes she is not good at maths, I have been asked to give her some coaching.

    It is so easy sometimes to damage a child's self confidence in their abilities.

  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Actually, yes, Malika, I think you would qualify for an Learning Disability (LD).
    Interesting insights between you, MWM and Marg. :)

    P.S. Just out of curiosity, if you have been "labeled," and had special help, and had gotten a grade (in America, say, a B, which is above average) how would it have made you feel? Better? Worse?

    What do you think of science now? Do you ever read Nat'l Geographic just for the fun of it, for example?
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, that's interesting! Sorry, Mysti, this thread has been taken over now (my fault originally). How would I have felt if I'd had special help and got a grade for science....? To be honest, I'm not sure. I excelled in English, getting As most of the time, and other arts subjects (went on to university where I read English and graduated magna *** laude) and there was this kind of kudos at being such a duffer at science, if that makes any sense... The thing is it just didn't interest me and of course if you're not interested, you have no motivation to try. No, I confess I never read National Geographic... Programmes or articles in layman's language about the origin of the universe, stars, and so on - yes, that would be interesting!
    I always felt I could probably understand science if it had been explained REALLY slowly, step by step, giving context and background all the time... but of course there is never time to do that with one failing student in a class.
    And now Mysti, please say more about your daughter, and apologies! :)
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Oh, don't you love our site censor?

    Malika, you might find you capability much greater now.

    Which brings me back on topic - I firmly believe that for a lot of our Learning Disability (LD) kids, the brain is simply slower to mature. It does catch up in a lot of cases, but often by then the confidence has taken a pretty thorough beating.