NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) Challenges...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SBB, May 11, 2015.

  1. SBB

    SBB New Member

    While searching various resource websites today I came across your website and felt better after reading similar stories... and I’m feeling hopeful that others will chime in with words of encouragement after reading my story.

    My Son is 21 and is an only child and was diagnosed in 2010 with Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)). After many years of testing and therapy I finally received, what I believed, a “spot-on” diagnosis in 2010. (Although, he still exhibits clear signs of ADD, Asperger’s, and Autism.) He was plagued with many ear infections and other medical issues as an infant and toddler, which I believe contributed to his medical issues. My son has had difficulties in expressing himself in ANY form since a child and has always been gullible and a follower. Due to his social awkwardness he never really had friends and would allow his peers to bully him or misuse his kindness. He also doesn’t like being touched by anyone. His writing is atrocious… he writes like a child and his sentences are never complete and very difficult to follow and understand. Due to emotional abuse from his dad… at 18 he committed himself to a psychiatric hospital for a week to regroup. His behavior troubles began as a toddler and have now escalated into criminal activity (i.e., public transportation ‘fare’ violations, shoplifting, and vandalism).

    A little history… after 18yrs of marriage I left our family home and filed for legal separation due to irreconcilable differences, which ultimately became an awful expensive, complicated and an emotionally draining experience of nearly 3yrs. Although, my ex-husband and I had joint custody and lived between 2-5 miles apart… the judge gave him residential custody which turned into an emotional roller-coaster for our son. (He no longer had me as a buffer to protect his father irrational rhetoric and controlling issues.) Finally, nearly 2weeks after our son graduated from high school his father kicked him out of the home and their relationship has become estranged. My son moved in my cramped quarters for one year and attended college earning a 1.4GPA and thereafter dropped out before I moved to another state. Although, I offered him an opportunity to move with me I needed his assurance to work with me and devise a strategic plan to hopefully help him succeed in our new surroundings. He adamantly declined and stated he rather live with friends. Well, as suspected, he ended up in trouble and homeless!! So, after 6 months, I returned to pay his fees and plead for him to be released into my “out-of-state” custody.

    Since his arrival, he has left home many times for several days and return absolutely filthy… saying "he rather live on the streets than with rules." (If that was TRUE… why does he return to a home with rules?) However, after MUCH encouragement, he finished a job program but refused to use the learned skills… and has had two jobs with both ending in termination with a total of $244 earnings for 2014. Recently he did do some paid work for a local guy… only to be asked not to return due to his inability to follow ‘simple’ directions and intense daydreaming. (My son can’t seem to complete ANY task without constant reminders and follow-up. Music seems to be his only interest… that is, listening and watching videos.) I’m truly baffled that my 21 year old son behaves like a 15 year old and can’t seem to understand that we ALL must be responsible for our actions and ultimately take care of ourselves. More importantly, he insists that he doesn’t have a disability! He’s like an addict… until he accepts his limitations and use learned coping skills or medicine (if needed) he’ll always fall short of living a decent life without constant help.

    Unfortunately, it appears that NO help can be offered until my adult son is in agreement and accepts his disability. Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to save MY sanity we must separate. I’ve sacrificed everything and put my life ‘on-hold’ and have exhausted everything. I will no longer tolerate his perpetual adolescence behavior at my expense. I have talked endlessly… and assisted him with resumes, job applications and fairs but NOTHING seems to work. (He continues to blame his father, me, other relatives, government, religion and general people for his continuous mishaps.) I love my son… and I’ve prayed and accepted that it’s time to “Let-Go & Let God”!!!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I am sorry you are going through this.

    I have a non-verbal learning disability as well. My verbal IQ is in the superior range (easy for me to job interview and get hired) but my performance level learning ability is 85, below average. It is quite a dilemma as far as learning in school and at work and keeping a job. I've had about fifty jobs in my life and kept losing jobs. At age 50 the Dept. of Workforce Development finally sent me for testing and diagnosed this and I qualified for Disability and job placement services even with a job coach. I jumped at it.

    Your son needs to want the help. It is there. It wasn't there when I was young, but it is now. If he refuses all help, you have no choice but to do what you have to do and if that means making him leave unless he goes to a neuropsychologist to get tested and possibly apply for Disability and work services, then that's what you have to do. You don't help him by letting him wallow in pity. I have a twenty one year old son who DOES have high functioning autism (the two are very much alike) and my son is working part time, living alone, and very independent and gets more independent every day. I am his payee because he is bad with money and he accepts that cheerfully.

    Having a disability does not mean you can't work. It means you may need a little more help, but you will get it if you truly have a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). That was considered for me a cognitive disablity not otherwise specified, which does not mean I have a low IQ. It means I learn differently and could use a hand up. I had not gone to Workforce Development to get diagnosed. I went to find yet another job that I was afraid I'd fail at. They insisted I be tested first and I got Disability, which shocked me. But it has helped open doors for me I didn't know existed.

    If your son refuses what you must to get him launched. You can't support him all his life when he doesn't even try.

    You may want to repost on the Parent Emeritus forum. Those parents, including me, are parents of children who are adults...eighteen and over.

    Glad to "meet" you but sorry you have to come.
  3. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I agree with everything SOT said. My son has a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), and i believe it is the root of all his problems with anxiety, depression, addiction, and relating to other people. His inabiliy to hold a job may be due to his disability. People with this learning disability can have a hard time following multistep directions, and need more time to learn the job as their processing speed is slower. He may be lazy, but he has other issues going on which make it very discouraging for him. If you can get him to a neuropsychologist and get him retested, maybe you can apply for Social Security for him. If he is declared disabled by the feds, he is eligible for medicaid, case management, and the above mentioned vocational services

    Support groups and a therapist of your own can be helpful in setting boundaries with your son. Try Families Anonymous. I think you should post on the Parents Emeritus thread as we have much experience in dealing with our wayward adult kids.
  4. SBB

    SBB New Member

    Thank you "SWOT" for taking the time to share your story... it certainly helps a great deal to know I'm not alone. I sincerely appreciate the options you've suggested and will share them with my son. (I sincerely pray that he accepts the help this time.) Also, I'll repost my story on the Parent Emeritus forum and eagerly await members responses.
  5. SBB

    SBB New Member

    Thank you "IAD" for responding to my cry for help. I will definitely try and encourage my son to get retested with-a neuropsychiatrist, which might shred some new light on his issues. Somehow, I need to approach him differently because he becomes agitated and angry every time I mention the word disability. Also, I'll check out support groups for myself and repost my story on the Parent Emeritus forum and eagerly await member responses.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I really don't like that word: disabled. It seems so limiting and so final.

    Many of our kids are "differently abled". They may not be able to do things the same way as others, and there may be some things they can't do, but often there is something they CAN do, and do well. Your son needs help finding out who he really is, and what his challenges are, and what his strengths are. That will require professional help - with special emphasis on HELP. (not all professionals are helpful, unfortunately)
  7. SBB

    SBB New Member

    Thanks for your comments "InsaneCdn"... and you're right... the word "Disabled" sounds VERY limiting and final. Unfortunately, it's the word needed when requesting help from various services. I concur with your comment stating that my son needs help in finding his true self (strengths & weaknesses), but before that's even considered he must be willing to repeat a series of testing to determine his abilities and accept the outcome. I believe if I remind him this is a positive move on his part to get re-tested and hopefully stop victimizing himself. In the meantime, I'll continue to pray for him.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I used "disabled" when fighting for services too :D
    But my son reacted better when it was presented as differently abled.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't care what they all it. I just want to work. My autistic son is very laid back about having a disorder and if it has to be called a disability, hey, it has him functioning in the community and living independently. Refusing to accept your difference in learning is cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    A NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) requires a company and boss who understands you will need time to learn, you will not multitask well, and that you need to often ask many questions. You can't just listen or look and learn. You have to be hands-on shown and much more than one time. I couldn't work at McDonalds. It went too fast for me and often people with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) are poor at math...I was and this before the cash registers told you the change. The extreme fast pace ramped up my anxiety. NVLDers often have very high anxiety and depression. BUT THERE IS HELP!

    The Dept. of Vocational Rehab helps get you a job with a company that understands how you tick and you can even get a job coach to go with you until you catch on...and it can take five times longer to catch on than if you don't have a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). Some areas may be out of your ability area. BUT THERE IS STILL HELP!

    The larger the verbal/performance level score, the worse th e NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). A verbal IQ of 120 and a perforamnce level IQ of 85 will be even more challenging than a verbal IQ of 110 and a performance level IQ of 90 is a less severe NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), but they are both NVLDs. A NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is a cognitive disorder, which does NOT mean you are mentally slow. It means you are very good usually in communication skills, but challenged in other areas. It is nothing to be ashamed of and has nothing to do with how lazy you are. However, if you don't accept help because it hurts your ego to think of yourself as disabled or differently abled or whatever (I really don't care what they call it myself) then you will get nowhere. And if you're an adult kid, your parents can't take care of you forever.
  10. SBB

    SBB New Member

    Thank you "SOT"... and I'm hopeful that one day soon my son will ask for help and not feel embarrassed. In the meantime, I'll check out the Dept of Vocational Rehab & other services and have them available when that wonderful day arrives. :) (Unfortunately, the Dept of Workforce Development Ctr in my area doesn't offer testing.) :dissapointed2:
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Here's a suggestion. Don't tell him he has a disability. Tell him his verbal IQ is so much higher than his performance level IQ that it kind of unbalances the way he learns so he needs extra time to figure things out. Explain that you know it makes him feel bad and it's a pain in the neck but that if somebody will give him time, answer any questions he has, and will work with him...maybe through Workforce Development...he CAN succeed.
    SBB, I won't lie. I had no help and without it I lost job after job. Exployers expect you to pick things up quick and I couldn't process that fast or multi-task. A person with a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) needs a certain type of job just for him and the DWD will help place him and even give him a job coach until he is on his own. He is not an alien, he has a different way of intaking information and that slows him down a bit. Keep the word "disability" out of it except to say that he has to apply for it. And tell him plainly that it does not mean he is "stupid" or even "not bright" or any "less" than anybody else. Tell him it gives him extra $$$ (he has to like that) and he will get extra help and lots of people use it. It's a tool to launch him ahead since he is stuck.

    If he says "No, I'm just stupid and I can't do anything" tell him in a sharp voice, "I don't want a capable young man like you to ever say that word about yourself again. Let's check out this Workforce Vocational Rehab and to show you that you are smart...just a little different. And the world would be boring if we were all the same."

    It is hard to be different in any way. You are misunderstood and often teased and you tend to feel you are not as worthy as other people. My family gave me the "you're just not trying" garbage. I think if they had used other verbage and tried to understand, I'd have at least felt better about myself and attitude matters! So does Mom as a cheerleader, I'm sure (I never had one). No matter how old you are, that has to feel good. Get him positive!'s worth a try ;) I feel for your boy.
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  12. SBB

    SBB New Member

    Thank you for your sincere reply... it certainly helps. Be blessed.