Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities

Non-Verbal Learning Disability is a disorder characterized by a large discrepancy between strong verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills. A child with a non-verbal learning disorder may excel in reading and have a large vocabulary to draw from but may have trouble picking up on social cues. Non-verbal learning disabilities (NVLD) are brain-based and affect a child’s ability to perceive more nuanced social interactions involving tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions. Children with NVLD may speak frequently and engage in conversation but fail to recognize common social norms that people without the disability are more apt at picking up on. Picking up on larger, more abstract concepts can be exceedingly difficult for children with NVLD.


What causes NVLD?

Experts have been trying to figure out the exact cause. There’s no clear-cut answer as to what specifically causes NVLD and why certain people exhibit specific symptoms. Some hypothesize that it has something to do with the functioning of the frontal lobe of the brain.


What are symptoms of NVLD?

While it may be difficult to notice due to your child’s excellence in speech and language, there are enough concrete symptoms of NVLD that parents should be able to notice if something’s wrong. NVLD can manifest itself in several different ways. If you think your child is having difficulty recognizing social cues, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Poor psycho-motor coordination—clumsiness, frequently bumping into people and objects
  • Difficulty coping with changes in routes and transition
  • Difficulty following multi-step instructions
  • Asks repetitive questions
  • Exhibits strong verbal skills but falls short in other areas
  • Needs to label things verbally to orient themselves within the world around them
  • Stands too close to people
  • Exhibits poor coordination
  • Abruptly changes the topic of conversation
  • Oblivious to people’s reactions
  • Overly dependent on others, specifically their parents


How can St. Louis LDA help your child suffering from NVLD?

The key to treating NVLD is a prompt diagnosis, and immediate treatment—the earlier your child’s learning disability is detected, the easier it is to devise a treatment and support plan. Our team of certified experts works in tandem with your child’s school to deliver a treatment plan and ongoing support solution designed to give them the best chance of success. Don’t wait—reach out today and get your child the support they need.