PlusFour Solutions: Guidance through Assessment

Educational Assessment

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NLD)

Rondalyn Whitney, MOT, OTR, an occupational therapist and nationally recognized expert in the field of Nonverbal learning disorders, describes NLD as follows:

Nonverbal learning disorders (NLD) is a neurological syndrome consisting of specific assets and deficits. The assets include early speech and vocabulary development, remarkable rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development and excellent spelling skills. In addition, these individuals have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently. Moreover, persons with NLD have strong auditory retention. Three major categories of deficits and dysfunction also present themselves:

  • Motoric – Lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with graphomotor skills.
  • Visual-spatial-organizational – Lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, and difficulties with spatial relations.
  • Social – Lack of ability to comprehend nonverbal communication, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction

Dr. Newton works closely with Ms. Whitney as they research and teach together here in the Bay Area. Dr. Newton has gained recognition for his work in the assessment and diagnosis of children with NLD, Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism.

Parents can learn more information about non-verbal learning disabilities at the following web sites: