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The Characteristics of NLD in Children

Children with Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) often demonstrate relatively poor achievement in specific academic areas, such as mathematics, science or reading comprehension. In the early grades they may have difficulty with handwriting and cutting because of poor fine motor skills.

One of the most salient characteristics of NLD is difficulty in social functioning. Few of us realize how much of our social interactions are based on our understanding of the nonverbal cues of communication. Eye contact, hand gestures, tone of voice, body language, and posutre are some of the many signals to which we attend when we speak with someone. Children who miss these cues may feel uncomfortable with their peers and gravitate toward adults who admire their broad knowledge, or to younger children who gladly take direction from them.

Lastly, these children may display attentional problems, such as distractibility and difficulty concentrating, and be diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder. Although AD/HD can co-occur with NLD, they are not synonymous. It is thus crucial to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

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