Is It NLD?

Many doctors misdiagnose a nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) as ADHD. These NLD traits should prompt a neuropsych evaluation.

ADHD vs. Nonverbal Learning Disorders in Children
ADHD vs. Nonverbal Learning Disorders in Children

Not all sensitive children with early language skills have a nonverbal learning disorder (NLD), and not all children with NLD behave the same. Here are some traits that might prompt a neuropsych evaluation:

Infants and Toddlers

>> Early speech and language acquisition (talks “like an adult”)
>> Doesn’t physically explore the world
>> Clings to objects and people to maintain balance

Preschool Years

>> Exceptional rote memory
>> Poor motor and balance skills (difficulty riding a tricycle; throwing, catching, kicking; balancing on one foot, skipping, climbing)
>> Prefers using fingers to silverware
>> Trouble with buttons and zippers, tying shoes

Elementary Years

>> Difficulty using scissors, poor handwriting
>> Difficulty learning to ride a bicycle
>> Exceptionally verbal
>> Naively trusting
>> Difficulty understanding complex reading material

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