If you recently found out your child has a nonverbal learning disability (NVLD), you may feel unclear about what to do next. These steps can offer guidance about ways to help him at school, at home and as you help him plan his future.
Learn all you can about nonverbal learning disabilities.
Investigate treatments and therapies for nonverbal learning disabilities.
Occupational therapy can help children with NVLD improve their physical coordination, organization and planning skills. Speech therapy can help kids get better at communicating in social situations. Social skills groups can also teach kids how to interact appropriately with others their age. Your child’s doctor or school may have more ideas for helpful services.
Look into school supports for nonverbal learning disabilities.
Schedule a meeting with the school to talk about whether your child is eligible for special education services. Bring any reports you may have from doctors or specialists. These could help with the IEP or 504 plan process. The school may have done its own evaluation, too. (If not, find out how to request a free educational evaluation.) It’s helpful to know that kids with NVLD who receive special education services typically qualify under one of two IDEA categories: “specific learning disability” (SLD), because of their trouble with math, or “speech or language impairment” (SLI), because of their trouble with pragmatic language.
Talk about what supports and services might be helpful, such as accommodations for NVLD. If your child doesn’t qualify for an IEP or a 504 plan, talk to the school about informal supports that could help.
Help your child be a self-advocate.
Understand the possible emotional impact.
Learn ways to help with nonverbal learning disabilities at home.
Stay in touch with the school.