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Old 12-08-2007, 07:00 PM   #1
iwasapenguin
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Non-verbal learning disorder


As you can guess from the title of this post I have been recently diagnosed with NLD (Non-verbal learning disorder).
One of the side effects is often strong technical inclination and I was wondering if there are any other people on the site with this problem?

I'm happy to answer any questions that people may have about it but info in New Zealand is sketchy at best and I don't know what it is like to have strong right-brain function.
 
Old 12-09-2007, 05:25 PM   #2
Jan Tanjo
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Hi iwasapenguin

Please forgive me if I sound too harsh and keep in mind that this is my opinion.

There is no such a thing as a disorder, they are called personality traits. A broad definition of a disorder is "a condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning."

attention deficit disorder: An impairment in the ability to focus or maintain attention. It's called boredom. Any grade 4 student who can sit through a teachers explanation of algebra deserves a passing mark on the spot.

seasonal affective disorder: a mood disorder characterized by depression related to a certain season of the year - especially winter. This is not a disorder, this is the bodies natural reaction to being deprived of sunlight.

panic disorder: characterized by chronic, repeated, and unexpected panic attacks - bouts of overwhelming fear of being in danger when there is no specific cause I knew someone who was "diagnosed" with this, he had never worked a day in his life and leached off his girlfriends. Nice life if you can get it. I would get scared if my girlfriend decided to leave one day.

Many many quarks in behavior can easily be explained with common sense and time spent with the person, which is why community is so important. So what, you have a different style of learning, so do I. How many people around you have benefited from what you have done, the way you have done things?

Anybody who is supposed to help you that starts out by describing a prominent character trait as something that is wrong needs to re-think their view of the human being. You should find out what is right about you first before going any farther.

jan
 
Old 12-09-2007, 07:02 PM   #3
SlowCoder
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As a grade school student, I had problems concentrating in class, got very bored, was easily sidetracked, etc. etc. yada, yada. Once I was out of school I was unofficially diagnosed ADD (attention deficit disorder). Unofficially, because I was diagnosed by a friend psychologist, who handed me a book about ADD and was asked to read. I never did ...

What Jan Tanjo says isn't too far from my belief either. But one must ask, what makes a disorder a disorder? It's just a measurement by what other members of society deem appropriate. Time and time again, we've seen "disorders" that may negatively affect a person in one way, yet very positively affect that same person in another way. Einstein, socially backwards, but one heck of a calculator!

Besides, the world is riddled with misdiagnoses, and people on unneeded and often harmful medications. Often times, a doctor will look at their manual, find some long-named disorder with 3 of your symptoms matching, and voila! "Pop this $90/month pill 3 times a day and you'll be just fine!"

So, if you think you've got a "disorder", don't fret on it. Just push through it. Find the strength through your "disorder", what makes you different, and likely better than most of the rest of us.
 
Old 12-09-2007, 07:21 PM   #4
iwasapenguin
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Okay Jan Tanjo, I'm not trying to start a flame war or anything here but this goes allot deeper than any personality quirk! What I have is an over-developed verbal reasoning/memory region on the left side of my brain but the white matter in there (links the regions of the brain together) and most of that is in the right hand side of the brain (don't ask why, I'm not a neuro-psychologist) that's about the definition of it.

The usual effect of this covers just about everything in your life (literally including what shoes a person should buy (I'll explain if anybody asks)) but mostly things such as an inability to learn via sight but a strong ability to learn by spoken word (I can still remember my cousins teaching me how to make snails from play-dough when I was three).

Any way It is a very rare (or at least very rarely diagnosed as these things tend to be when only know about for the last decade-and-a-bit) so what I'm trying to do is meet technically well skilled and try to find out how they cope.
 
Old 12-09-2007, 09:00 PM   #5
PTrenholme
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I've always thought my problem was an almost complete lack of visual memory. (Once, when my daughter came back on college break, I didn't recognizer her in the airport.) So perhaps I, too, have this "NLD" of which you speak. When I was going to school, such "disorders" were seldom diagnosed, and I've never had the lack of a visual memory cause any problems for me. (Except that I've never been able to learn how to spell correctly. But Fifefox takes care of that for me now, eh?)

On the other hand, EEG studies (fifty years ago) did suggest that about 10% of the population had an impaired ability to visualize. So perhaps NLD is just a more sever form of a common affliction.

Here's a quick test for you: Can you read the following words out loud? (Fluent English, color monitor, and HTML required.)

blue yellow violet red

I have little difficulty with this, others have more of a problem.
 
Old 12-11-2007, 10:38 AM   #6
iwasapenguin
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Well yes of course I can. The problem with NLD is not just a lack of visual and or kinetic memory but that the actual connections between regions of the brain are very slow and most of those are on the right hand side of the brain. Aside from Autism most of the effects are very similar to Asperges disorder (you know the whole sterotypical nerd thing).

Any way It was very easy to read those out because I was thinking of them verbally, to me if something can't be somehow represented in words than it is something mysterious (like time, distance what a certain look on somebodies face is) and I try to dismiss as trivial.

Also this means that people who are more than a little NLD (I think I'm in the lower side of severly) have no real IQ since the IQ test assume that your mental faculties are fairly well balanced but the questions involving pictures I go over as word problems, repeatedly describing the shapes to myself (as well as explaining the question) until I find a major difference in the discriptions of the shapes. It wasn't until a while after I was diagnosed that I realised some people can do it another way.
 
Old 12-11-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTrenholme View Post
Can you read the following words out loud? (Fluent English, color monitor, and HTML required.)

blue yellow violet red

I have little difficulty with this, others have more of a problem.
I have more difficulty in saying colour of the word rather than what the word actually says. I don't have a disorder I know of!
 
Old 12-11-2007, 09:12 PM   #8
dasy2k1
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I have a simaliar tarit
trechnically i have a
memorological/phonological specific learning difficulty (probably misspelt)
which is basically psycobabble for an inabilaty to remember peoples names (i know most people by face only) my spelling is awfull, and my handwriting totally illegable....

but im a cambridge student studying engineering so i must be good at physics! and tech stuff in general
 
Old 12-12-2007, 07:06 PM   #9
Jan Tanjo
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Hi iwasapenguin

Thank God, I spent almost 3/4 of an hour debating whether I should say anything. As you can see, other people have similar if not the same thing that you have been labeled with, and they are active members of a community, a community that is willing to support other community members.

For me I can't read, technically I can read, otherwise I wouldn't be able to write this. I am visually oriented, I see words as shapes, I don't see the letters. If a word is spelled wrong I can tell by the shape of the word, not by the letters. This might sound good but let me tell you how difficult school was for me. Reading a text book was like eating exlax, but give me a well written story and it's like watching a movie, only slower.

My oldest daughter has zero problem solving skills, if you took away the can opener she would starve to death in a kitchen full of canned food. In order for her to get through life she'll have to pay people to do a lot of things for her. There just happens to be a branch of medicine in which she will excel in, and it pays freaking good.

As a parent I can guide her in the right direction instead of criticizing her short coming. If my parents had done that for me I would be a hell of a lot better off.

I personally call them traits, style, weird, different, strange, gifted, etc, but not something wrong.

You are part of a community and your ability strengthens the community, not the other way around.

jan

by the way, unofficially I'm diagnosed with anti-social behavioral psychopath, which just so happens to be what my wife is writing her theses on. It all works out.

Last edited by Jan Tanjo; 12-12-2007 at 07:12 PM.
 
Old 12-12-2007, 07:48 PM   #10
SlowCoder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Tanjo View Post
I personally call them traits, style, weird, different, strange, gifted, etc, but not something wrong.

You are part of a community and your ability strengthens the community, not the other way around.
Excellently put! My unofficial ADD doesn't seem to hold a candle to some of the conditions described in this thread, which (with no offense intended to anyone) is a blessing to me.

I find it heartening to see people with life conditions who have learned to utilize them in a positive manner, rather than allow their condition to negatively impact their life. A positive attitude goes a very long way in how your life will be in the future.
 
Old 01-07-2008, 07:37 AM   #11
iwasapenguin
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Sorry to all those who were interested (Dire computer type issues blew me out of all my habbits) I have managed to cobble together most of the traits that you'll probably have:
Quote:
0: You seem to move in slow motion (according to those who know you)

0: You find logical problems easy so long as they have no pictures

0: You good at maths (well, I'm not but nothing here is set in stone)
EDIT:Not all maths, just algerbaic problems that can be handled as
language and logic and physics. Geomitry and calculas are plain per-
plexing because of all the spatial/visual elements.

0: You're very pedantic, literally minded and over precise in speech.

0: You have trouble seeing things right in front of you (no kidding here, whenever I'm told to put away dishess my mother
calls me back to put away about a dozen more things (including large woks, baking trays and jugs which I have honestly failed to see next to the glasses about 3inches to the side which i did put away)

0: In school teachers always accused you of "doing your own thing", "going of on a tangent", "answering a different question you thought was more interesting" and such things when you thought that you had answered the question propely.

0: Your very right handed (this is a bias towards left brain function that controlls the right hand)

0: You have sevre disgraphia (in ability to clearly write)

0: Ask you parents if at the age of about five you struggled to simitaniously sit on your chair and write, if the answer is no then you have one typical symptom

0:Every one around you seems to either be better at almost everything or know some secret of how to find what is ment to be done

0: Your feet are flat and turn outwards (truly, this one is cuased by avoidance of execise)

0: You avoid walking as much as possible.
These are the norm for the few who are diagnosed with this problem and there are many more that I haven't bothered mention (partciuarly the really bad ones that are hard to sum up)

Last edited by iwasapenguin; 01-12-2008 at 01:42 AM. Reason: Slight misunderstanding abut maths, mispellings etc
 
Old 01-07-2008, 06:34 PM   #12
Darkhack
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My best friend in high school had a disorder like this. As a result he couldn't spell. I often saw him typing words like "vidoe" and "wich". I thought that these little spelling quirks were actually kind of cute in the way he spelled like a little kid.
 
Old 01-09-2008, 07:23 PM   #13
sundialsvcs
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Dr. Richard Feinmann thought about this sort of thing quite a lot. (No surprise there...) He observed that if you asked someone to "count 1..2..3..4.." people would consistently do one of two things: either they would see the numbers passing by in front of their mental 'vision', or they would 'hear' the numbers. People in the first group could not keep count if, say, they were watching a movie. People in the second group could not keep count if they were listening to the radio.

So, "whatever it is, it's real."

I guess that we all are so "fearfully and wonderfully made" that we don't really understand what that means ... don't realize just how reliable and resilient biology really is ... until we notice that it has "screwed up" in some way.

As far as "what to do about it," I tend to sit firmly in the "don't pay for $90-a-week medicine" camp. You are what you are, and you can manage just fine in this world in spite of the occasional quirks.

For example... I am dead in the water with regard to "folding-box problems." Not to brag or anything, but during grade school I grew accustomed to scoring in the 98th or 99th percentile on everything. Then I took the ASVAB test (as part of a control group), which is a test that Uncle Sam uses to identify the high school kids that they want to recruit for the Army. I scored in the forty-third percentile in exactly one category: folding-box problems.

And this is why, to the consternation of my father, I do not frequent Home Depot. (It's his "toy store.") I cannot easily visualize how physical objects will look when cut and rotated in three-dimensional space. (Believe me, it plays the deuce with you when you do a lot of 3-dimensional graphics work!!) So don't ask me to build a table for me; ask my dad.

Nevertheless... "I get by. Life is good, and it doesn't cost me $90 a week."

---

By the way... my mom was a special-ed teacher for about 40 years. (It must be a special calling...) She told me once about a kid that was having trouble reading. On a hunch, she took the kid aside and asked her, "when you look at letters on the page, do they sometimes turn themselves upside-down and backwards?" The kid burst into tears! "Yes!!!" the kid exclaimed.

As gently as she could, my mother then explained (in complete privacy) to this child that she (the child...) was not alone. That this problem, which this child had no-doubt faced for who-knows how-many years (thinking that she [the child...] must surely be 'a freak'...) was in fact quite common.

("No wonder you can't read easily!" she said reassurringly... "look, now that we know what the problem is, here's what we can do about it....")

It must be quite an amazing thing to know that you're doing something and saying something that another human being is going to remember "as a life-changing moment" for the rest of his-or-her days...

When my mom relates that story, as she does quite frequently these days ... I think I actually understand why she spent most of her career in special education. ("Mom, why would you catheter a kid every day, knowing that this kid probably won't make it to age twelve?") ... "Now I know." I think.

Welcome to the human race ... with all its warts. You Are Not Alone.

(And gosh... you thought this was just "a Linux forum...")

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-09-2008 at 07:39 PM.
 
  


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