The Diagnosis and Treatment of Children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

Palombo, Joseph
August 1996
Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal;Aug96 Special Issue, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p311
Academic Journal
The article presents a phenomenological description of the child with nonverbal learning disabilities. Nonverbal learning disabilities include the disabilities related to visual-spatial processing of information and disorders associated with the reception, expression, and processing of affective communications. As infants they are passive, fail to engage in exploratory play, and do not respond as expected. As toddlers they have visual-spatial-motor problems emerge, many cannot use toddler toys or enjoy coloring or drawing. By the age of three, they go through an initial stage when their speech is difficult to understand because of articulation problems. These problems dissipate and their verbal skills emerge as an area of strength. They then become quite adept at verbal communication. This channel becomes reinforced by caregivers who become over reliant on it to relate to the child, they have difficulties interacting with other children in groups. They seem not to know how to play with others. They cling to their caregivers and find it difficult to separate. If this strategy is unsuccessful then they isolate themselves.


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