Nonverbal Learning Disability


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Nonverbal Learning Disability

  1. 1. What is Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD)? NLD
  2. 2. NLD  Causes of NLD (a pediatric neurological disease)  Dr. Byron P. Rourke believes the disorder is caused by a damage to the white matter in the brain, specifically in the right hemisphere.
  3. 3. NLD What is Nonverbal Learning Disability?  NLD is not widely known and is commonly misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD, anxiety disorder or panic disorder.
  4. 4. NLD NLD Versus. Aspergers syndrome  Major differences  Age of onset  Diagnosis  Absence of restricted special skills in children
  5. 5. NLD Nonverbal Learning Disability  Children with Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD) have difficulty in the following 4 areas:  Tactile/Visual  Psychomotor/Spatial  Social/Emotional  Cognitive
  6. 6. NLD Areas of difficulty  Tactile  Children with NLD have trouble identifying something by touch alone.  Visual  They also have trouble processing information in the visual field.
  7. 7. NLD Areas of difficulty continued  Psychomotor  Children with NLD have trouble with coordination  Spatial  They also have trouble navigating and judging their proximity to the world around them.
  8. 8. NLD Areas of difficulty continued  Cognitive  Generalizing information is nonexistent and mental flexibility is impaired.  Executive functioning and ability to organize is also affected.
  9. 9. NLD Areas of difficulty continued  Social and Emotional  Interacting appropriately with their peers is difficult for a child with NLD  Being able to adjust to new situations is also difficult.  Emotional well-being is inconsistent because of their deficits.
  10. 10. NLD Diagnosis  Wechlser Intelligence Scale Children (WISC)  Diagnosis  Score 10 points higher on the verbal than performance Risk of NLD.
  11. 11. NLD Psychomotor and Spatial challenges  Obvious characteristic of NLD children  Physically awkward ○ physically demanding activities such as writing, climbing or jumping ○ gauge where his/her body is in space ○ bump into people or objects around them Frustration Isolation
  12. 12. NLD Psychomotor Skills and Finger Dexterity -Presence of intention, Lack of physical cooperation -Neurologically impaired  Fine Motor Skills  Difficulty with using pencils, drawing with crayons, using scissors etc.  Use fat writing instruments
  13. 13. NLD Psychomotor Skills Cont’d Sewing and woodworking etc. will be very problematic… Encourage them to participate to develop their fine-motor skills
  14. 14. NLD Psychomotor Skills Cont’d Self Help Skills:  Difficulty with wearing clothes  Provide clothes that require as little assistance as possible
  15. 15. NLD Physical Education Cont’d  Struggle with the less structured nature of regular physical education classes  Physical therapy / Occupational therapy instead  Identify each child’s specific needs
  16. 16. NLD Physical Education Cont’d  Team sports ○ more difficult when other children are added ○ uncoordinated, and also mystified by the rules ○ cheering and shouting ○ frequent mistakes and be ridiculed Question: So…. Should we exclude them from team sports??? In
  17. 17. NLD Physical Education Cont’d No!  Involve them in an activity that would make them feel part of a team + eliminate the element of failing  Roles such as a referee  Direct and specific verbal instruction about the rules that govern the game
  18. 18. 1 NLD Spatial deficits  Dangerous aspects of NLD  Keeping distance between oneself and another person can be taught through training, BUT…  Two deficits remain with them ○ 1-Gauging distance to objects: Combined with physical awkwardness, increases the risk for injury & criticism  Estimate where to place a knife  Estimate distance from oven  Estimate distance from approaching vehicle
  19. 19. Spatial deficits Cont’d  2-Getting lost  In middle or upper elementary grades ○ Spatial problem appears to be more severe ○ “He should be able to move from place to place on his own” ○ They benefit from “markers” such as maps ○ Verbally teach how to move within the school: “Go out the door, turn right, and count three doors on the right, the third door which is blue, is the boy’s washroom” NLD
  20. 20. NLD Spatial deficits Cont’d Keep in mind…  Spatial challenges, generally do not improve over time  Not able to find their way as their point of reference changes  If spatial problem is severe, they need the help of a paraprofessionals; shadowing if improved  NLD children should not be disciplined for being tardy to class
  21. 21. NLD Social and Emotional Functioning NLD children usually reluctant to socialize  Developmentally younger than peer groups  Strong verbal skills, but hard to initiate a conversation   Similar to Temple
  22. 22. NLD Social and Emotional Functioning Cont’d  Nonverbal communication  Vocab. and language alone don’t make effective communication  Only 35 % of all communications are verbal  Remaining 65% are nonverbal  Gaze, facial expressions, body language, tone of voice… ○ infants respond to their mothers’ smile and tone of voice
  23. 23. Social and Emotional Functioning Cont’d  Concrete and Literal  They process exactly what is said  Difficulty with open ended questions ○ Example: “how is your family” ? NLD
  24. 24. NLD Social and Emotional Functioning Cont’d  Communication handicapped  We don’t expect a blind person to see!  Example: seventh grade NLD confuses “United Kingdom” in her social studies, and “Families of animals” in science when used interchangeably
  25. 25. NLD Social and Emotional Functioning Cont’d  Acceptance by peer groups and adults important
  26. 26. Social and Emotional Functioning Cont’d NLD  Behaviour  rude, spoiled, lazy or defiant  None of these is true  Anxiety  sometimes their main difficulty  Source: Communication, Social deficit, Other learning issues ○ Providing predictability to them, Reliance on their schedule and anxiety
  27. 27. NLD Teaching strategies for math  Difficulty with at least one aspects of math due to several factors:  Poor fine motor, visual, spatial and processing skills  Failure to form numbers, recognize mathematical symbols, not knowing what to focus on
  28. 28. School Environment and Placement  A child with non-verbal learning disability requires…  Consistency  A highly structured, predictable day  Maximum class size of 6-8, fewer being the ideal  Both teacher and aid  NLD A child with NLD should be placed in a regular education classroom
  29. 29. Classroom Setting  “Circle NLD time” not effective for child with NLD  Decorations as distracting and frustrating  NLD child should be seated in the front row in front of the teacher, next to quiet children  Desk formation should be in rows, not pods  Blackboard should be kept clean of any extraneous writing or other material, and only have information directly relevant to the lesson
  30. 30. NLD School Placement- Ideal Placement Characteristics  Creative, flexible staff who is knowledgeable about NLD, or willing to be  Physical layout that is easy to navigate  Small total student population (50-200)  Small class size  6-8 for middle school  10-12 for older children
  31. 31. NLD School Placement- Ideal Placement Characteristics Continued School continuity  Teacher continuity  School philosophy of teamwork  Zero tolerance policy for bullying  Every step taken away from the ideal will significantly compromise the education of the NLD student
  32. 32. School Placement - Options NLD  Public school  Private School  Home school  Search for alternative education is likely to happen around middle school, when puberty is starting and the demands of a traditional school overwhelm the NLD student
  33. 33. NLD Strengths in a Student with NLD  Reading  Rote memory  Vocabulary  Spelling
  34. 34. Areas of Concern for a Student with NLD  Reading  Decoding  Comprehension  Integrating information  Making inferences Visual Processing  Penmanship  Parroting vs. Learning  NLD
  35. 35. NLD Teaching Strategies  Rubrics   Scoring tool that lists the criteria for a particular piece of work Models  Example of a completed project or assignment  Graded model
  36. 36. NLD Teaching Strategies Cont’d  Use unimodal instruction  Concentration should be on verbal instruction  FM trainer  Overcomes the distance between teacher and student  Reduces competing noises
  37. 37. NLD Teaching Strategies Cont’d  Frontloading  Begin the lesson by telling students what they’re going to learn today  Examine what you already know  Provide background information  Provide context
  38. 38. NLD Teaching Strategies Cont’d  Cooperative Learning  Small groups of students work together on an assignment or project to maximize each others learning  Each student has a different strength to contribute to the team
  39. 39. NLD Other Suggestions Students with NLD to be provided with notes before a lesson and not required to take them as the teaching is teaching  Amount of information on any pages handed out should be reduced  Use Flip Charts and Overheads  Directly teach concepts such as main idea, drawing conclusions, making inferences 
  40. 40. NLD Other Suggestions Develop alternative methods for educational engagement, understanding  Use books on tape  Use a marker, ruler, or index card while reading to help with tracking  Verbal description of how to form the letters 
  41. 41. NLD Other Suggestion Use larger pencils  Use pencil grips  Practice shapes before letters  Teach either printing or cursive  Use graph paper for spacing  Use a keyboard 
  42. 42. NLD Group Activities Please form small groups for activities, YES YOU!
  43. 43. Nalo Hopkins Video: An award winning writer with NLD NLD
  44. 44. NLD Nalo Hopkins: The bright side of Nonverbal learning disability  Awards:  World Fantasy Award and the Sunburst Award for      Canadian Literature of the Fantastic John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for Emerging Writers Locus Award for Best New Writer World Fantasy Award and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
  45. 45. NLD Final note and Questions