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Non-verbal Learning Disability (NLD or NVLD)

What is non-verbal learning disability (NLD or NVLD)?
Kids with NLD are very verbal, and may not have academic problems until they get into the upper grades in school.  Often their biggest problem is with social skills. 
NLD is very like Asperger Syndrome. It may be that the diagnoses of Asperger syndrome (AS) and NLD simply “provide different perspectives on a heterogeneous, yet overlapping, group of individuals sharing at least some common aspects [1].”  AS and NLD are generally thought to describe pretty much the same kind of disorder, but to differ in severity—with AS describing more severe symptoms. 

What are the signs of NLD?

What are some parenting tips for kids with NLD?

How can parents help kids with poor social skills?
According to Mel Levine, in a book chapter titled “Unpopular Children [2]” there are many ways parents can help kids with social skills problems. Here are some ways parents can help their kids:

For more ideas for both teachers and parents, check out these “Do’s and Don’ts” for Fostering Social Competence.

How can I help my child succeed as a young adult?

Where can I find out more and get support?

On the Web:



Related topics on YourChild:

Literature Cited:
 [1] Klin, A,  Volkmar, FR. Asperger's syndrome: guidelines for assessment and diagnosis.  Yale Child Study Center, Developmental Disabilities Clinic.  Available from:  URL:
 [2] Levine, MD.  Unpopular Children. In: Parker, S, Zuckerman, B, editors.  Behavioral and developmental pediatrics: a handbook for primary care.  Boston:  Little, Brown and Company; 1995.  p. 327.

Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, R.N. Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan

Updated November 2012



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