NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) vs Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) vs AS

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    So, as I am writing through Matt and my life, I am on the time period when Matt was four and he was tested. This was 1994, and the diagnosis came back as NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). His verbal IQ was something like 135 and performance something like 115.

    In 1994 the diagnosis of AS was not around, and truthfully the diagnosis NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) meant nothing to me at the time. I did not understand how to help him exactly, nor did anyone tell me. He was tested at 6, with the same diagnosis, with the addition of disorganized sometimes delusional thinking and possible early onset bi-polar.

    He had a neuropsyche at 10 where they ruled out AS because he was social, read social queues, made eye contact, and had empathy - but everything else fit. So they still they kept the NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD).

    Once in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I think everyone stopped caring about testing - and none was done. At the end of 2 years they started pushing it, but I think it was because they were looking for a personality disorder, which I am sure he has, but I really don't need a label for - thank you.

    So I have heard here on the posts or somewhere that NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and AS are the same thing?
    And then I heard someone say that NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is now Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)? Can anyone enlighten me?

    None of the doctors ever mentioned Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) to me. The NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) really came into play at school where he could do not do "performance" type things well, as in math, or reading comprehension. He also has dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyslexia, so that did not make it easier.

    Anyway, SO much has changed in the last 15 years with all of this, I would just like to make sure that if someone every reads my book (hope, hope) that I have all of the right terminology and can truly help and enlighten and not confuse.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Aha!!! I know NVLDs. My verbal IQ is 120. My performance IQ is 85. Therefore my verbal skills are exceptional, but, when I have to perform, I can't do it a lot of the time. It hasn't been fun. I can always talk myself into getting hired, but often can't do the work. My neuropsychologist told me that the reason I don't get an Aspie diagnosis is because my social skills are too good. Now I think I struggle with social skills, but I have a son on the spectrum and he struggles a lot more than I do. I believe the difference between the two is in the social skills of the person.
    Can't even begin to explain how badly I struggled in school. Math was particularly horrible and I flunked it several times and had to go to summer school only to get D's with tutors.
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh MWM - that is exactly it! Matthew can talk, talk, talk - and he listens really well and absorbs things. But to actually do a job he becomes confused, and disoriented. He passed the English part of the GED without even trying - but it would take an act of God for him to pass the math. He also fluxes in and out of agoraphobia which is supposed to be common with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), and maybe other things.

    I know we are not doctors or Psychs - but I do wonder what the difference is in the psychology field for these 3 definitions are. I will research it, but I would also like all of your feedback because I trust it.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had no idea NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and agoraphobia go together. Wow. I didn't exactly have agoraphobia, but, as I've explained many times, I had such horrible panic attacks at one time that I often did not want to leave the house.

    What would happen with me is people would think I was much more capable than I was. I could talk my way into almost anything, with a very advanced vocabulary, but could not learn how to put a finishing touch on a piece of wood in a factory. Anything visual baffles me. I don't know why. I even have a moderate case of face blindness. All these are also symptoms of Aspergers too.
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Very interesting - we should chat more - cuz you sound just like matt. He can definitely talk his way into anything, but from there it is a cr@p shoot.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm *still* trying to get more testing for my kid. Doctors keep telling me because she met all developmental milestones in the early years she can't possibly be an Aspie. She's fine with eye contact (if she's not distracted), but hits everything else Aspie radar. I had teachers and other parents of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids ask me if she'd been tested just from their observations (they're the first ones that brought up the possibility, years ago, and I didn't think there was any way she could be). New shrink is now thinking we live too far away for her to really treat her properly (there is ONE that comes down where we live, and that's the one I stopped taking her to because he was no help!).
    What finally pushed them into testing him, and is there an exact test name(s)? I keep getting asked what I want tested and why, they want me to justify everything, and when I say I want a full evaluation I get refused.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My son who is what I call Aspie Lite hit all his milestones early or on time. Especially walking and talking. He had exceptional vocabulary and read easily, in fact was way ahead in reading in school. I had no clue about aspergers back then though. He was dxd with learning disabilities though for writing and math as early as late kindergarten. Socially he has always been a bit awkward but we put it down to just being a quiet boy who was very well mannered and liked to play by himself. He was so different than the other two that he basically faded into the background except in the amount of help he needed for homework. He simply couldnt learn spelling words without tons of help and written work was awful.

    I am sure today he would have been dxd with aspergers and given much more help.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    My understanding is that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified is Asperger's but the symptoms didn't show until after the age of 3. Just went through this with my daughter. My daughter hit all of her milestones and some were advanced.

    NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is considered by many to be in the same category as AS or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, however NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) isn't in the DSM (to my knowledge) while the others are. AS has actually been around since the 1940's - or it was given a name then. I've heard professionals say that the only difference between NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and AS or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified is who gives the diagnosis: a neuropsychologist is more likely to say NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), while a psychiatrist is more likely to say one of the others.

    My daughter's diagnosis was just changed from NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) to Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. She meets diagnostic criteria for both. They overlap in a multitude of ways. However, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified guarantees her services that NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) wouldn't, just because of the whole DSM issue.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I really wish that people would stop putting so much store in "makes eye contact" as a diagnostic tool.

    I hit all of the developmental milestones either on time or early, had no issues with language acquisition or math, can socialize passably enough to get by, and can look people in the eye. I can do all of the things that many practitioners use to gauge whether someone is on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum. However, there's definitely something "off" about me, and I score well into the Aspergers range in testing. Just because someone can make social chit chat and look at you while they do so doesn't rule out Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, or other spectrum disorders, and I wish that diagnosticians wouldn't hang their hats on it so much.

    I also wonder how many other Aspie children use some variant of the eye contact trick that I learned as a small child. I was forever being pressured to look people in the eye, and I learned that if I look at the spot just above the bridge of their noses (at their eyebrows, if you will), then it looks just like "eye contact" to everyone else, but doesn't feel all weird and horrible like true eye contact does.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, there are exceptions. I think lack of being able to make eye contact is important. My son can't. CAN'T. when I asked why, he said, "Eyes make me nervous." Okie!
    Also, my understanding, from the neuropsychologist wo diagnosed my son with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, is that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified kids have early delays, which my son had. He didn't speak or potty right until four and a half. Aspies often talk early, sounds like little professors when they talk, and appear to be very VERY bright as toddlers. I also think though that it depends on who is diagnosing.
    We have a kid with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified as a diagnosis. on the school bus in which I'm an aide. I have to duck not to get hit by him as he flails his arms and legs. He screams the entire trip, although he is not protesting...he just likes the sound of his voice, I think. He usually smiles as he does this. He also tries to climb out of his car seat. This reminds me of my son when he was younger. The child is not malicious. He is simply very different.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I, too, wish they'd get rid of the eye contact flag. Because I still have problems making eye contact with someone I don't know - it creeps me out - and I'm pretty sure I would score extremely low if tested for AS.

    And, yeah, the neuro we took Jett too? At first told me, yes, he could see why I suspected Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and was right to bring Jett in, then later said it was ADD and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)...
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O me, too! If Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) was diagnosed based on eye-contact, I have been labelled Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) years ago!

    Meanwhile, my difficult child who did receive a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) diagnosis, is GREAT at eye contact - and socially clueless about almost everything else. And the experts still tell me she can't be on the spectrum!
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    SEE - this is the whole deal - how truly confusing for all of us! I mean labels do not mean much, I guess - but as you guys are saying it helps when getting help from the school and in understanding our children.

    Matt was an off the chart toddler - talked at 8 months - and by the age of 2 he could recognize the alphabet, throw a ball like a pro, was potty trained, and spoke like a professor. Then around 3 I am not sure if I noticed it or not but a lot of his rapid development slowed down. For a child who knew their letters at 2 he should have had no problem reading by 4 1/2, but it was hard for him and he didn't nail it until around the first grade. No one EVER said anything about AS until I started asking about it, and I demanded a neuropscyhe test which is where the whole eye contact them came up.

    I know one main difference between Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), AS and NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is that NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is considered a learning disorder. The 20 point variance in Matt's IQ meant a learning difference, which is why NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is not in the DSMV as a psychiatric diagnosis. So I wonder if that really is the question - does having the NVLearning Disorder sometimes lead to psychological issues like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and AS? Perhaps if you have a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) you also are Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or AS in varying degrees???
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Tell them that you want your difficult child to have a NeuroPscyhe test done - it is done by a Neurologist. Tell them you need this done in order to get her the correct special education, therapy, and help that she needs to cope.
  15. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I have. Repeatedly. And they still ask what exact testing I want done and why. When I give them a list of red flags that have been pointed out to me by teachers of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other parents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as well as what I've seen, it's totally disregarded because she met or exceeded her early milestones and has no eye contact issue (unless you mention it when she can hear). I'm pretty sure I have it and I can be too direct with eye contact! "Oh she has anxiety, she has anger." Duh. Ever think maybe because you're treating the WRONG thing?
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    husband called every Childrens' hospital in the state till he found one that would do a neuropsychologist for Jett - it wasn't the closest one - then worked backwards... Fortunately the pediatrician is a great doctor... Told office staff we needed referral for neuropsychologist signed by doctor, picked it up the next day. Generic form...
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Bad thing is, her insurance company gave us the referral, and I still can't get the docs to do it! Maybe if I could land a doctor whose FIRST language is ENGLISH... but that seems to be a rarity here. Was that too mean/direct/blunt?
    I left a message with her school counselor asking if she could forward the testing request she sent to the previous doctor to the new one. Maybe that'll help. Maybe not. Worth a shot.
  18. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Gonna PM you... Have idea.
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    What if you tried telling them that you need an "IQ" test for Special Education purposes. These tests have a lot of "IQ" types of tests in them, as well as cognitive skill tests, etc. If that does not fly, than find a new Dr., because every therapist that every saw Matt before the age of 18 wanted THESE tests done.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm not sure if they tested her IQ or not, but she was in gifted (they stopped the gifted program due to funding issues). Her standardized test scores are always way above district average (but never good enough for her), but don't give this kid a glass of anything that can stain the carpet, because I guarantee it will get spilled. Shoes with laces? Don't make me laugh - even when she actually does the tying she can't do it well enough for them to STAY tied (and sadly, I'm not much better).