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What Is a Non-Verbal Learning Disorder in Children?

Learn about childhood non-verbal learning disorders from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.


A nonverbal learning disorder, or commonly known as NVLD, is sometimes considered a rather controversial learning disability. It's a disability that impacts children. In which, if you look at their psychological testing, their IQ points show very high verbal skills, but lower performance skills. Children are typically excelling in language and reading, but have more difficulty with things related to visual/spatial skills such as math.

Children with NVLD also have social communication difficulties, and sometimes have trouble relating to their peers. Many times, NVLD is diagnosed after a child is doing so well in school, but they're not maintaining any peer relationships. There's a great deal of research about NVLD because it looks a lot like Asperger syndrome, and sometimes there seems to be a significant overlap.

What we do know is that NVLD shows less developed abilities of the right cerebral hemisphere. Nonverbal learning disability really is a learning disability and not a psychological disorder. And these are just some key tips to look out for when trying to diagnose a nonverbal learning disorder.

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