I feel my best when I’m around people who know all the things I can do well. Who enjoy my talents and accept me as I am. Some of my contacts pathologize my different style of communication. It’s very common for people to make non-professional clinical observations about my speech. Unfortunately, my speech isn’t going to change. Speech prosody is more a function of neurology than vocal execution. I’m not a speech pathologist, but my therapist, a psychologist, works closely with them and said even with speech therapy, my speech wouldn’t improve that much. I’m lucky I don’t have it really bad, plus my writing compensates. I hope that someday soon, everyone with NLD–and our close friends and family–will list 5-10 of our talents. In a tough environment, strengths must be how we see ourselves first. That doesn’t mean not being aware of our weaknesses, it just means trusting in our abilities and embracing our individual merits. So every day, particularly for kids with NLD, (plus we are likely lovers of lists) we should make lists of one or all these things:
-Things I like about myself
-Things I do well
-Things I’ve done that I’m proud of.
The sooner we get to the empowerment stage, the happier we will be, and the more we can move on from anxiety and depression to a stage of celebrating life.
I didn’t learn these truths for many years, and now they serve me well, particularly as I identify helpful friends/relatives, and learn to experience joy. Depression is very hard, but it doesn’t have to be like this. NLD is not a death sentence. It is simply a specific learning disability, and by being who we are, we can greatly benefit ourselves and society. The trick is using our strengths each day.