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TitleA Special Kind Of Brain: Living With Nonverbal Learning Disability
File Size977.9 KB
Total Pages226
Table of Contents
A Special Kind of Brain:
Living with Nonverbal Learning Disability
Foreword by Bryon P. Rourke
What’s the Matter with Jimmy?
The Diagnosis and
Dealing with It
At Home:
Parenting the NLD Child
Managing Inflow:
The Kid in the Candy Store
It’s a Jungle Out There
Teaching Social Skills
Activities for the NLD Child
NLD at School:
Working with the System
Discussing NLD with Your Child
Living with NLD Every Day
Changes in Routine and
Moving—A Four-Letter Word
Getting Involved
Seeking Outside Help
for Your NLDChild
Looking Ahead
Document Text Contents
Page 113

facial expressions to emotions, thereby enhancing the ability
to feel empathy; and conveying reactions that reflect their
own true emotions and feelings, thereby improving
communications with others.

3. The child can learn how to be a good conversationalist
through practice sessions or role playing at home,
socialization workshops available through school or
community agencies, and play dates.

4. Since NLD children do not pick up on innuendo, it is of the
utmost importance that they be given extra social judgment
training to protect themselves against sexual abuse and/or
unwanted harassment.

5. NLD children should learn the concept of “fitting in” using
objectics, or nonverbal communication through appearance
(dress, hairstyle, perfume, choice of jewelry). This can be
done by helping them with wardrobe choices, tips on
hygiene, etc.


Page 114

Chapter 8

Activities for the NLD Child

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture,
or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects
beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint
the very atmosphere and medium through which we
look… To affect the quality of the day, that is the
highest of arts.

Henry Thoreau

The first and most vital point to make in this chapter is that there isno magical answer when it comes to activities for the NLD child. It
is of paramount importance, however, for his health and well-being (as it
is to the health and well-being of all of us, for that matter) that the child
remain active as much as possible. Perhaps it is more essential with the NLD
child because, due to the social struggles that these children face, they
can tend to become withdrawn and sedentary. It stands to reason—when
interactions on the playground make you feel lousy, it’s easier to stay
inside and read a book.

Before I go any further let me emphasize that, as with all of the
points I make in this book, the ideas outlined here do not apply across
the board to all children with nonverbal learning disability. All children
are different, and NLD children are no exception. The activities that
work well for Jimmy may not work well with other NLD children so, as
with all things in life, trial and error is the rule of the day and parents
must be prepared to experiment a bit. It is hoped this chapter will give
you some ideas and tips that will guide you in the right direction. The
types of activities which the NLD child may find appealing include the


Page 225

relaxation 41, 127

relocation 180–5

tips for making it work 184–5

reprimands 47–8

Rogers, Fred 146–8

role play 204

Rourke, Dr. Byron 17–20, 160–1


coping with unexpected situations 60, 62–3

and doctor’s visits/medical appointments 95–6

and holidays 172–4

importance to NLD children 24, 35

problems with novelty/surprises 60, 62–3,

67–8, 90–1, 141, 150, 163–4, 180–5

school tests 129, 142

and segregation 150–1


bullying 140–1

changes and “new terms” 180–5

communication of diagnosis 39–40

coping with academic work 127–30

field trips 141

general advice for teachers 35–6

getting to know staff 126–7

and homework 130–1, 138–9

and Individualized Educational Programs

(IEPs) 39, 129–30, 132–3, 134, 135–6

looking at different options 180–1

marking/grading systems 136–7

and organizational skill deficits 139

tests 129, 142, 150–1

see also friendships; learning styles; Special

Education Parent Teacher Association


seating systems 21

self-esteem in NLD children 50, 146–8

see also bullying

sensory stimuli

excessive inflow and overload 21–2, 58–9

general principles of management 64–5

methods of handling situations 59–64, 65–9

see also hyperacusis; phobias

September 11, 2001 65–7

shoe laces 164–6

shopping 22, 58

short-term memory, and attention/concentration

difficulties 32–3

siblings 53–5

talking about NLD 152–3

signs of NLD see manifestations and signs

social competence 87

social judgements 106

social skill deficits 86–97

causes 17–18, 86–8, 202–3

manifestations and signs 22–3, 34–5

social skills training 36, 98–111, 202–7

body space awareness 99

conversation skills 103–4

dealing with fears and phobias 202–7

dealing with frustrations and impulses 99–101

empathy 101–2

and general appearance 106–8

group sessions 202–7

hospitality 105

learning appropriate responses 102–3

personal appearance 106–8

play skills 104–5

responding to threatening/hostile nonverbal

clues 106

role play 204

and self-advocacy 149

see also friendships

The Source for Nonverbal Learning Disorders

(Thompson) 41, 167

spatial awareness

and body space 99

inability to perceive diagonals 26

and organizational abilities 161

Special Education Law 193

Special Education Parent Teacher Association

(SEPTA) 40, 189–95

aims and goals 189–92

getting started 191–2

research and information sources 193

seminars, workshops and conferences 192–3

support and camaraderie 193–4

special occasions 67–8

family celebrations 67–8, 90–1, 176–8

see also family outings; holidays; surprises

spelling 128

sports and activities see activities


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standardized tests 142

Stewart, K. 20

stimuli, and information/sensory overload 58–9

study skills 129, 130–1, 138–9

Superkids (Ridgefield) 203–7

support networks

families and friends 166–7, 189

parent support groups 40, 187–9

teachers and other professionals 124–5,

126–7, 131–6

see also Special Education Parent Teacher

Association (SEPTA); Superkids


supportive seating 21


coping with unexpected situations 60, 62–3

see also routines

swimming 116

symptoms see manifestations and signs

talking “nonstop” see monologues; verbal “labeling”

“talking back” 45–7, 91


general advice on communication 35

managing social skill deficits in NDL children


see also communication with NLD children;

learning styles; schools

Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success

(Duke, Nowicki and Martin) 41, 101

team sports 113

teenagers 209

television and media

managing excessive viewing 121

managing inflow 66–7

use in teaching social skills 102

use on vacations 172

temporal concepts, difficulties for NLD children

129, 160

tests 129, 142

and segregation 150–1

therapeutic interventions 196–207

choosing a therapist 198–200

general advice on communication 35

and learning programs 129–30

occupational therapy 20–1, 30–1, 200–2

social skills training 36, 98–111, 202–7

verbalization in learning situations 35

thimerosal (mercury-based immunization

preservative) 19

tidiness, teaching organizational skills 161–3

“time out” sessions 47

toileting problems, withholding bowel movements


toys, and fixations 75–7

“transitioning” difficulties 21

treatment options see therapeutic interventions

uncooperative behaviors 87–8

verbal abilities see language abilities

verbal “labeling” 22, 35, 160

and lack of discovery learning abilities 24–5,

33–4, 160–1

visual-spatial (organizational) disorders

causes 17–18

manifestations and signs 21–2, 34, 161–3

vocabulary 128

see also language abilities

walking/hiking 113–14

washing up 162–3

websites 215–16

Family Communications, Inc. (FCI) 148

peer support for LD children 193

Special Education Law 193

“White Matter Model” (Rourke) 17–18

writing abilities 128

alternatives for NLD children 35

observations and signs of NLD 26


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