Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NLD)
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities are essentially the opposite of dyslexia. The child with NLD has early speech and vocabulary development, strong rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development, and excellent spelling skills. The learning disability is found when these strengths are accompanied by significant weaknesses in motor skills, spatial reasoning ability, or social awareness.
Children with NLD have difficulty processing information which is not language-based, either spoken or in writing. They have difficulty interpreting facial expressions or body language. They have a good memory for detail, but cannot understand the “big picture” or relate the details to form overall concepts.
Although NLD is very different than dyslexia, the symptoms can be confused. For example, an NLD child may have difficulty with balance and coordination, poor handwriting, and difficulty with reading comprehension. These are all symptoms that can exist with dyslexia as well; the main difference is that the NLD child's reading problems stem from difficulties appreciating the ideas and concepts represented by the words, whereas the child with dyslexia can easily grasp complex concepts, but has difficulty making sense of the words used to convey the ideas.