Misreading Cues, Then Beating Myself Up

Sometimes a social cue is totally over my head, especially in the moment. Or I’ll sense it, but not know how to respond, or respond in the wrong way. And then I beat myself up mentally. Even though it’s not my fault I have visual-spatial problems and a speech disorder. But I still feel so misunderstood and make so many social mistakes, I can’t help blaming myself. I don’t know where to put the confused, frustrated feelings. Often, there’s no time to explain the things I realize later. Or I don’t know how to do it. One recurring issue is my responses are sometimes slowed. So it takes longer to get through a conversation. I’m trying to translate visual-spatial messages and navigate my speech phrasing problems all at once. One good thing is I listen very well. So at least that part’s good, but other things are so very difficult. More later. I’m so glad we connect on this blog. It helps me express these frustrations.

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7 Responses to “Misreading Cues, Then Beating Myself Up”

  1. Cheryl Says:

    I am so very thankful to you for writing this blog. I am on a forum for NLD and that is how I found your blog. We were just told that our daughter had NLD. She is 13 and in middle school. From the research that I have done and now reading your blog I am so glad that we have finally found out what it is that was going on with her. She has always been quite literal, an example is when she was about 4 we would get in the car to go somewhere and she would ask where we were going. Coming from a very sarcastic family I would say, “crazy”. When we would end up at a store or wherever she would get really upset and scream at us that this was not crazy and she wanted to go to crazy. I am really trying hard to watch what I say and how I say it now for her. This is a huge learning experience for our family. I do have a question for you though. It seems that she has taught herself over the years how to either ignore or accept these types of things in language. Do you feel that it is possible for her? She doesn’t talk much at all about what she thinks or feels as well as what she doesn’t understand. She’s very closed off most of the time. She struggles greatly with social situations and friends. She has actually been a victim of bullying at school as well as on facebook. This kids are really cruel to her and she doesn’t get it. Most of the time she calls these kids her friends. My other concern is that she never wants to go anywhere. She prefers to stay home in her room with either a vampire book or on her computer. Any advice from you or insight would be greatly appreciated. And thank you again for writing this blog. I will continue to read to learn more from you on how to help my daughter.

    • hannahcamille Says:

      Thanks for your note. I remember getting into the series books as a kid, too. They were comforting. Like her, I have been too nice to mean people. I wanted to fit in. I’ve noticed the public libraries have kids or young adult book groups–maybe that would be good to try? I agree that watching what you say and how you say it is important. Also, practicing communication offline is of very huge importance. That’s because it’s hard to see the subtle things in text. So the more practicing and social coaching you do offline, the better. I worry about kids being online too much, because it doesn’t help with social practice, and there are adults online who may be abusers. I’ve written about this on the blog a lot. It’s better for kids to be scared and cautious than get into relationships with strangers, so I’d try and teach them to be skeptical and worried about this. Volunteering in the community could be a great benefit to her. A friend’s daughter does most of her social activities on weekends away from school bullies. Hopefully you can get an anti-bullying plan that connects NLD needs/concerns to the need for teachers and school staff being extra careful to prevent any future abuse. I think improved language skills will happen over time. She will need lots of social coaching, and understanding adults as well as kids. The more people you tell about NLD and how it impacts her, the better. A book that might help is called “Knowing Ourselves, Knowing Others.” It’s a feelings/visual-spatial social tutorial book for kids with NLD and AS. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks.

  2. C. Says:

    Thank you for having this blog. I look forward to reading what you’ve written here. My son, 6, has just been diagnosed. Kindergarten was a nightmare that ended with me pulling him out of school when he began yelling that he wanted to kill himself and that school was not a good place for him. They were not supportive or caring for him at all. He was constantly sent home and suspended twice for what I now understand were panic attacks. He’d be fine at home. He’d be so relaxed and undercontrol until he had to go back to school the next day. In contrast to this, his teacher nominated him for the Highly Capable testing this year and he passed based upon his extremely high reading ability and verbal skills. The puzzle peices didn’t fit together until I discovered this diagnosis. My concern has been for his future. I am glad to find that you are able to blog about your experiences and feelings. It will greatly benefit so many others.

  3. Norma Says:

    Hi, our soon to be 13 year old daughter sounds very much like Cheryl’s daughter. I plan to follow your suggestion and get a copy of the “Knowing Ourselves” but her bullies are here in our neighborhood which is very small and then bleeds over into school so in essence she cannot escape it and is becoming more reclusive. I’m looking into virtual classroom environments and small art classes etc. at least she seems very excited about this, and that says a lot! Has anyone had any experience with this type of alternative to traditional school? I am so grateful to have found this site!

  4. Chelsea McKinney Says:

    I have NLD too, and I deal with alot of the impulse coversation issues as well, trying to be the same.. yet I am totally not. You let alone wrighting this blogg incourages me that I can do this. and my disability doesnt own me 🙂

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