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Nonverbal learning disabilities

Are Nonverbal Learning Disabilities the Same as Asperger’s Syndrome?

By Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin

Founding Headmaster, Eagle Hill School

No, but there’s a lot of overlap between Asperger’s syndrome and nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD). Many experts consider them to be separate conditions that look a lot alike.

Studies indicate that most children who meet the criteria for Asperger’s also meet the criteria for NVLD. But the opposite of that doesn’t appear to be true. Many children with NVLD don’t meet the criteria for Asperger’s. This is in part because Asperger’s tends to involve more severe social skills issues than NVLD.

One way to help kids who have either or both of these conditions is get them involved in a social skills group at school or in the community. Talk to your child’s school or doctor about other ways to help your child learn how to interact more successfully in social situations.

Watch this video from my colleague, Sheldon Horowitz, for more on the differences between the two.

You can also explore in Parenting Coach for specific tips from experts.

About the Author

Portrait of Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin, Ph.D., was the founding headmaster of Eagle Hill School, a Connecticut boarding and day school for children with specific learning disabilities.

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