Everyone known's that Labor Day means the official end of summer and the beginning of my favorite season fall. Fall means time for football, sweaters, pumpkin lattes, and just enjoying the leaves changing into pretty colors. It also means back to school for the kiddos. My niece is officially started high school and it made me think of how transitions like starting a new school can sometimes be difficult for teenage girls in general but can be even more difficult for those who are living with Turners Syndrome and like me were diagnosed with a nonverbal learning disability. Now you may be asking what a nonverbal learning disability is. That is a hard question to answer as like turners it affects each individual differently for me it was more motor-skilled base. For some, it can be a lot more challenging and bring several issues ranging from motors skill issues like myself to having difficulty with social interactions I have listed some of the issues those with NLVD face below
An inability to read nonverbal social cues, such as expressions and body language
Difficulty identifying and understanding sarcasm '
difficulty recognizing emotions in others
poor physical coordination
trouble with higher level math concepts
I know some of those in the support groups I follow on Facebook often are worried about how a diagnosis of NVLD will impact them or their daughter’s life. I know personally, I was relieved when I was diagnosed it was like a missing piece of a puzzle. Math was a struggle something that never came easy to me and it was frustrating something I read and hear often in these support groups. Majority of the time girls with Turner Syndrome struggle with this for most of their school career. They do as Turners is not diagnosed until teen years often too late for early intervention and to enroll in the right education programs often needed for those who face NVLD. Often leaving a feeling of frustration and worse dreading school.
I was lucky I was diagnosed at birth with Turner Syndrome so my parents were educated early on what to look for and to be an advocate for my health and educational needs. In second grade both my parents and teachers started to see I was struggling in reading and math. It was soon suggested that I should enroll in a special education program and it was determined I had an NVLD and then I was given the tools to progress in school.
It is scary hearing the words nonverbal learning disability and it can feel like a sledgehammer has just taken and destroyed the dreams you have for yourself or your daughter. I am here to let you know that even with the challenges those with learning disabilities face you can go on to do great things like my hero Winston Churchill who suffered from dyslexia, however went on to be Prime Minister of Great Britain during the darkest hours of WWII. Also, Thomas Edison went on to invent the light bulb and phonograph while Suffering from ADHD. This is just to name a few people who have achieved greatness despite their learning struggles. Having a learning disability does not define who you are or what your limitations are it just means that you learn simply differently.
So as you or your daughter step back into the classroom this year remember this and remember if you are struggling do not be afraid to reach out to the teaches and support staff at school and be an advocate for you are your daughter's education it will do wonders in the future and give the tools needed to be next Churchill or Edison. So smile be brave and go concur those school halls