Children with nonverbal learning disorder often start off as precocious youngsters, impressing the adults around them with their highly developed verbal abilities. But as they get older — and the challenges associated with NLD remain untreated — their precociousness can turn to anxiety, depression, and loneliness as they struggle to connect with others and interact with the world around them. Because NLD is so little known and children with NLD are often clumsy, socially maladroit, and may talk incessantly, they are often mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD.
So what does nonverbal learning disorder look like? Every child is different, but one common early indicator is highly developed verbal skills and lots of talking; from an early age, children with NLD rely almost entirely on language to learn about the world. Meanwhile, their other areas of development — social skills, visuospatial relationships, and motor skills — fall behind. And though they may speak like adults, kids with NLD struggle with abstraction and nuance — concepts that become more important as they grow and develop critical thinking skills.
How can you tell if your child is struggling with NLD? Start by taking the results of this self-test to your pediatrician or a neuropsychologist, who can help you sort out whether the symptoms you’re seeing align with those of NLD.
This screener is designed to determine whether your child shows symptoms similar to those of nonverbal learning disorder, but it is not a diagnostic tool. A high score does not mean your child has NLD. Only a trained healthcare professional can make a diagnosis through clinical evaluation. If you have concerns about possible NLD see a health or education professional. This screener is for personal use only.