Questions and Answers
Question #9


Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers


Question # 9

Is there a battery of tests that you would recommend for assistance in the determination of the classification of the NLD syndrome in children and adolescents?

The following are the protocols that I find most helpful in this determination. There is one protocol for older children and adolescents (9 to 15 years) and one for younger children (5 to 8 years). The older children/adolescent protocol is one about which we know a great deal and in which we feel quite confident. The protocol for younger children is currently under review and so it is not couched in the same terms as is that for older children.

NLD Assessment Protocol (9 to 15 years)


(1) These tests should be administered, and their results interpreted, only by or under the supervision of a clinical neuropsychologist whose expertise includes the neuropsychological assessment of children.

(2) Tests and measures in bold are those wherein relative deficits are evident.

(3) The tests are arranged to coincide with the developmental dimensions of the content and dynamics of the NLD syndrome (see Rourke, 1995, Rourke et al., 2002, and Content and Dynamics section).

(4) Descriptions of the tests (except for the Rey-Osterreith Complex Figure, the Serial Digits Test, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), which we do not routinely employ) can be found in Rourke et al. (1983), Rourke et al. (1986), and Rourke et al. (2002). The usefulness of the WCST is outlined in Rourke et al. (2002).

(5) "Reading Comprehension" is not a test, but an area of functioning that is measured in any number of ways.

(6) Abbreviations: W=Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised; WRAT=Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised.

Primary Assets and Deficits

Simple (Rote) Complex

Motor & Psychomotor Grip Strength Maze

Static Steadiness Grooved Pegboard

Tactile-Perceptual Tactile Perception Finger-Tip Number

Writing; Tactile Form


Visual-Spatial-Organizational Visual Perception W Object Assembly

Trail Making Test , W Block Design

Part A

Auditory-Perceptual Speech-Sounds Sentence Memory

Auditory Closure W Digit Span Backward


Auditory Visual

W Digit Span Forward Target Test

Seashore Rhythm Rey-Osterrieth

Serial Digits Complex Figure

Problem Solving, Hypothesis Testing, Symbolic Shifting, etc.

Category Test

Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

Tactual Performance Test

Trail Making Test, Part B


W Similarities W Comprehension

W Vocabulary Verbal Fluency

(Phonemically Cued)

Academic Achievement

WRAT Reading WRAT Arithmetic

WRAT Spelling Reading Comprehension

Psychosocial Functioning

Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale Personality Inventory for Children

NLD Assessment Protocol (5 to 8 years) *

Motor & Psychomotor Grip Strength

Grooved Pegboard Test

Tactile-Perceptual Tactile Perception (simple)

Finger Agnosia

Finger-Tip Number Writing

Visual-Spatial-Organizational W Object Assembly subtest

W Block Design subtest

Target Test

Auditory-Perceptual Speech-Sounds Perception Test

Auditory Closure Test

W Digit Span subtest

Language I (Rote) W Similarities subtest

W Vocabulary subtest

Language II (Complex) Sentence Memory Test

Verbal Fluency (Phonemically Cued)

Problem Solving, Children's Word-Finding Test
Hypothesis Testing, etc. Tactual Performance Test

Matching Pictures Test

Academic Achievement WRAT Reading, Spelling, and

Arithmetic subtests

Psychosocial Functioning Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale

Personality Inventory for Children

We are still working on the determination of relative assets and deficits of younger children with NLD and how these tests apply with respect to that goal. For additional data regarding this issue, see Question #10.


Rourke, B. P. (1995). Introduction and overview: The NLD/white matter model. In B. P. Rourke (Ed.), Syndrome of nonverbal learning disabilities: Neurodevelopmental manifestations (pp. 1-26). New York: Guilford Press.

Rourke, B. P., Bakker, D. J., Fisk, J. L., & Strang, J. D. (1983). Child neuropsychology: An introduction to theory, research, and clinical practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Rourke, B. P., Fisk, J. L., & Strang, J. D. (1986). Neuropsychological assessment of children: A treatment-oriented approach. New York: Guilford Press.

Rourke, B. P., van der Vlugt, H., & Rourke, S. B. (2002). Practice of child-clinical neuropsychology: An introduction. Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger.

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