3 Types of Nonverbal Learning Disorders

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3 Types of Nonverbal Learning Disorders

Nonverbal Learning DisordersLearning disorders that affect verbal and written language ability, such as dysgraphia and dyslexia, are among the more well-known learning disorders. For residents of Port Washington there is a wide array of treatment options locally available. It’s important to mention that not all learning disorders affect verbal abilities. Nonverbal learning disorders are characterized by difficulties with areas other than language, such as math, motor learning, and visuospatial reasoning. Nonverbal disorders are often more likely to be overlooked than verbal learning disorders, as they often occur in students who are well-spoken and whose high overall intelligence is readily apparent. Nonverbal learning disorders can present challenges in an academic setting for children who are good students otherwise; sometimes poor performance in math or visual tasks is mistaken for laziness or disinterest, when really it is due to a nonverbal learning disorder. Some researchers, including Harvard neuropsychologist Gail Grodzinsky, have identified subtypes of nonverbal learning disorders. Dr. Grodzinsky proposes three major subtypes of nonverbal learning disorders: Prodominant Deficiency in Visual Processing Speed and Organization; Predominant Deficiency in Spatial Visualization; and Predominant Deficiency in Social Perception.

#1: Predominant Deficiency in Visual Processing Speed and Organization

People with this subtype of nonverbal learning disorder in Port Washington may be interested in seeking therapy at their local BrainCore clinic. Sufferes of this disorder struggle to process visual information as quickly as most people can. They tend toward being inattentive, more so toward visual than toward auditory stimuli, and are easily distracted. They also daydream often, possibly due in part to working memory issues that cause internal ideations to be more likely to enter the “working memory” space than relevant external information. Upon neuropsychological examination, they can often match and detect visual patterns accurately, but slowly, and have trouble when large amounts of visual information “overload’ their working memory. Many people with this type of learning disorder have trouble with spelling, organizing ideas, and other aspects that contribute to poor writing ability. In math, they tend to make careless mistakes despite understanding the material.

#2: Predominant Deficiency in Spatial Visualization

The second subtype of nonverbal learning disorders delineated by Dr. Grodzinsky primarily involves trouble with spatial reasoning. In neuropsychological testing, they perform poorly on visuospatial tests like Object Assembly and Block Design, and often have difficulty interrelating various information into a meaningful whole. Motor difficulties are often also present, creating difficulties with handwriting, sports and other gross motor skill tasks, and difficulty with mathematical and time-related concepts. Spatial orientation and awareness of the body’s location in space is also below average, causing general “clumsiness”. In terms of working memory skills, Dr. Grodzinsky has also found that people with nonverbal learning disorders affecting spatial visualization are easily “overloaded” by visuospatial information. They sometimes struggle with reading comprehension tasks, such as summarizing a story, and can also be socially naïve.

#3: Predominant Deficiency in Social Perception

The third subtype of nonverbal learning disorders outlined by Dr. Grodzinsky is characterized primarily by difficulties interpreting social signals. Children in Port Washington with this subtype often have more difficulty understanding implicit social cues, such as gestures and vocal intonation, than most children their age; this can cause them to misinterpret or overinterpret things said by others, or to misjudge a person’s mood when they say something. This interferes with their ability to form friendships and can lead to social withdrawal, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Grodzinsky notes that due to the nature of the social difficulties, this type of nonverbal learning disorder is sometimes mistaken for Asperger’s; however, it can be differentiated by the lack of restrictive interests and repetitive behaviors.

If you reside in the broader New York region, specifically Port Washington and you are afflicted with a neurological disorder that requires medical attention, contact your local BrainCore clinic today! Their licensed practitioners are waiting to serve you. Call 516-587-7810

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