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Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD)

Do you have a child who struggles with any or all of the following: 1.Excessive focus on the details and cannot grasp the whole picture; 2. Not able to read social cues which has contributed to years of social rejection or isolation; 3. Has fine and/or gross motor impairments; 4. Not able to interpret social nuances of language accurately such as sarcasm, body language, and innuendo; 5. Often gives long monologues without noticing that the person with whom he is talking is completely disinterested; 6. Possible symptoms of OCD, ADHD, depression, and anxiety; 7. Very rigid in his thinking; 8. Seems to have slow processing speed; 9. Information taken in is not always stored accurately; 10. May seem self-centered, curt, ill-mannered, and defiant; 11. Years of academic struggles despite high IQ; and 12. Inability to get or stay organized?

If so, you may have a child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD). Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) is a processing disorder that presents very similarly to Aspergers Syndrome. The main areas of difficult for Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) are: 1. Deficits in information processing and organizational skills; 2. Poor visual-spatial and sensory functioning; 3. Significant impairment of social interactions; 4. Often have poor fine and gross motor skills and are clumsy; and 5. Rigid thinking.

At Logan River Academy, we have a specific dorm and program designated for adolescents with NLD, Aspergers Syndrome and other disorders on the Spectrum . We also have therapists with years of experience working with adolescents with NLD. Our specific, well thought-out approach has helped many adolescents with NLD gain the skills necessary to live a more productive life.

Dorm 3 is our designated dorm for children with NLD or other Spectrum disorders. We have well trained staff that is equipped with the skills to work with adolescents with NLD. Staff focuses on helping the students learn skills to be productive citizens. Our staff patiently works with, coaches, and mentors these students. Our approach is to focus on teaching, coaching, practicing, and listening in order to help our students succeed. Our goal is to help our students feels safe and cared about. Students with NLD tend to need a lot of time and patience from the adults around them. We are very well aware of this fact and embrace this. We have at least two staff on the dorm with the boys at all times. The staff members are there to listen, process, coach, assist, help, problem-solve, and teach. We focus a lot of attention on helping our students learn, develop, and apply effective social skills. Good social skills are difficult for adolescents with NLD to develop. These students do not tend to read social cues well and often talk excessively without allowing the other person to have a part in the conversation. We work with these boys on learning the skill of listening more and talking less, of reading someone’s posture, voice tone, and facial expressions, as well as learning to show interest in others’ opinions and thoughts.

Our students with NLD have a daily level sheet which helps them to focus on their goals. This level sheet addresses specific areas where these students tend to struggle such as social skills, organization skills, reading his environment accurately and learning cause and effect. Our staff sits down and works with each student daily on these goals.

We want to keep our students with NLD busy. They have a daily schedule that provides structure, consistency and predictability. Our students attend school each day from 9-3:20. We have structured activities for the boys after school. Our boys with NLD volunteer at the Humane Society every Thursday afternoon. They walk and play with the dogs and cats. They help clean the shelter as well as provide any kind of help the shelter may need. Our boys love this opportunity. We have found that our boys with NLD can connect well with dogs. This weekly trip provides this opportunity as well as the chance to learn to serve others.

Our boys with NLD also have two off campus activities each week that they do as a dorm. These activities include going to movies, going out to eat, going to plays, going to concerts, going sledding, fishing, going to the theater, playing at the park, etc. These activities are earned by working hard in school, with peers, and on treatment goals. Our boys with NLD also have the opportunity to participate in level activities each week and recreational activities each week that include: skiing, rock climbing, working out at the gym, hiking, etc. We want our boys with NLD to socialize with one another, with other students in our population, and with the community. We are a co-ed environment which also allows opportunities for our boys with NLD to interact with the opposite sex and learn how to build appropriate male-female relationships.

We also have a focused clinical approach with our students with NLD. Our therapists are dedicated and qualified to work with these students. We provide individual therapy, family therapy, and group therapy to aid in the treatment process. We also have a psychiatrist who works with the students who may need medication.

We have found that our tailor made approach to working with students with NLD is very effective. Through a balanced approach of therapy, a well thought-out academic program, and dedicated residential staff, we help our students to reach their goals and learn to succeed in life.