I think they do, but I’d like to know from other people’s experiences. Both my parents have some visual-spatial issues. I also have several extended relatives who struggle with social communication.
Archive for May, 2009
Yesterday I looked through some sensory integration checklists and wrote down the issues that are true for me. As always, there’s variation in how we with NLD experience our issues. Some things that are issues for me will be non-issues for other people with NLD, and vice versa. I also think age of diagnosis is a factor in sensory perception.
By the way, I like the term “social perception” better than “social comprehension.” NLD causes problems in perceiving social stimuli, but we can understand what’s going on over time, and with help. Misunderstandings sometimes happen, but we do understand a great deal about our environment.
Due to my individual sensory issues, I find even walking on a level surface somewhat disorienting. I try to be careful on the stairs, as I easily lose my balance. I’ve climbed ladders, but get scared doing so. I like music at a low volume.
More about sensory processing as I read and learn more.
Since this is a blog, I must sometimes comment on things I find on the web. Today Google is decorated by a student’s picture of an island/beach scene–perfect for summer. Importantly, the artist comments that he hopes new thoughts and discoveries will help the world get through our current difficulties. Read the statement and view the art work here:
I love this phrase “What I Wish For the World.” Here are some of my wishes for NLD prosperity:
-That all children with NLD symptoms be correctly diagnosed early.
-That NLD is recognized as a completely official diagnosis.
-That more studies be conducted, and lots of them.
-That this blog helps people.
And I’m really just beginning to express my thoughts on NLD. There’s much still to say. More later.
One reason I sometimes take left v. right brain quizzes is to learn more about the potential strengths of NLD thought. Too often, NLD discussions gloss over strengths and obsessively describe weaknesses. I support a different approach. It has three components:
A) Individual analysis: NLD has variations. Some of us, as I’ve mentioned before, enjoy studying foreign languages, and some of us find it nearly impossible. Some of our NLD issues closely intersect with other LDs, such as ADD or Asperger’s Syndrome. Other times NLD is the sole most precise description of what we deal with. Some of us received social skill development help at younger ages than others, which makes a big difference in terms of one’s social comfort level. Each person with NLD has some variations. My advice is to both read NLD case studies and get to know several people (obviously those who feel comfortable discussing this issue) who have it.
B) Never forget our strengths and talents: I talk about this a lot, but for wonderful reasons. There are many things we with NLD have aptitude for, things we enjoy so exuberantly that we don’t think to excess about the challenges. As just one example, I know people with NLD who love acting so much they gladly watch movies several times to rehearse movements.
C) Understand and be sensitive to our weaknesses: We are humans with very real emotions and significant challenges. Parents and teachers can help NLD kids by discussing weaknesses individually. Employers can help by scheduling regular meetings and reading about NLD. Ask people you know with NLD what we think about our abilities and what we specifically see as toughest. Too often, NLD discussions are very negative and grim. I beg to respectfully differ. Yes, NLD has some negative potential, but that just means negative things need making into more positive ones. We must focus on what is and can be positive.
Sometimes I take “Are you a more ‘left-brain” or ‘right-brain’-inclined thinker?” quizzes. Most results don’t go into a detailed evaluation (at least not for free, and since I rarely buy things online I’ve never paid for this), but I found a free quiz that does offered through the Art Institute of Vancover (http://www.wherecreativitygoestoschool.com/vancouver/left_right/rb_test.htm). Some cautions I’ve found regarding left/brain v. right/brain quizzes:
-Oftentimes these quizzes are either true/false or make you pick a rating (i.e., “My desk is cluttered ___” always, often, sometimes, rarely). I argue that ratings vary greatly based on the activity, what else goes on that day, whether the task is timed, et cetera. So while the sometimes/often/rarely ratings may provide a general idea, they may be too general.
-Even though my visual and verbal perfomance IQs have huge point differences (i.e., “superior” range for verbal v. mild to moderate impairments for visual-spatial), my quiz results tend to be more evenly split.
-I like some said-to-be right-brain tasks. For instance, I love creative, unstructured activities. My favorite college assignments were essays and response papers. I enjoy simple art projects and creative writing. I also love music, both as a listener and string player. In addition, I get hunches about people and situations. I feel emotions very sensitively, perhaps overly so.
-I hope to write about scientific views of left and right brain issues in the future. This scholarship is critical to NLD and spectrum advocacy and to our building of a community that helps people with NLD in the most effective ways.