Not Reducible to “Fight or Flight”

NLD literature tends to concentrate on the “stubborness” of those with this LD. Perhaps because many authors are parents and or teachers, the literature focuses too on disruptive behaviors, on the proverbial “acting out.” Things like young children biting people, chewing gum in school, drug misuse, et cetera.

Some NLD kids don’t have overt “acting out” problems, and may be more reserved. I was this latter type, and still am, to an extent. Fearing discipline and criticism, I’ve used “flight” tactics more, sometimes to excess.

For instance, it’s very hard for me to approach people. I can do it, but it’s always a struggle to translate all the nonverbal language. (Sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult, as I once saw on a school poster, and vice versa. I move between difficult and simple each day, and I believe everyone does, just not with this degree of extremes.)

My reaction to growing up with this undiagnosed learning disability was to observe relative silence in school. My parents encouraged and required that I limit what I say. Time-outs, for “talking back” a concept I didn’t understand (it wasn’t defined), were not time-limited. I didn’t feel valued growing up, but somehow learned compassion. When someone has a different social-relating style, I implore us all to be understanding.

Another saying with no known author: “We have to make the world a better place.”


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