Questions and Answers

Main Page Short C.V.
List of books, etc... List of journal articles dealing with NLD
NLD Content and Dynamics NLD and Neurological Disease
Popular Misconceptions About NLD Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers


The following are questions commonly posed to me regarding the syndrome of NLD.

Click on any of the "answer" links to read my responses to these questions. You may wish to check this page from time to time for newly posted Q&As.

Question # 1
You refer to NLD as a subtype of learning disabilities (LD). How do you define LD?

Question # 2
Why is the Syndrome of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NLD) characterized as a specific pattern of learning disabilities (LD)?

Question # 3
Does the NLD syndrome appear in any taxonomies or classification systems of medical or developmental disorders, such as the International Classification of Diseases?

Question # 4
Why is there so much emphasis in the NLD syndrome upon novelty and reactions to changing circumstances?

Question # 5
Why is there so much emphasis on nonverbal in NLD?
Does this mean that persons with NLD have well-developed language?
In what sense is the language of persons with NLD deficient?
How can one characterize the relatively intact and defective linguistic characteristics of persons with NLD?
[answer] (Updated on Jul. 5/2011)

Question # 6
Are there sex differences in the incidence of NLD?

Question # 7
What is the comorbidity of NLD and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?
[answer] (Updated on Jul. 5/2011)

Question # 8
Is "specific arithmetic disability" (SAD) the same as NLD? Do all persons with NLD exhibit SAD?
[answer] (Updated on Jul. 5/2011)

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?

Question # 10
Are there any rules for the classification of children who exhibit NLD?

Question # 11
Does a Wechsler Verbal IQ>Performance IQ deviation of significant proportions signal the presence of NLD and/or right cerebral hemisphere dysfunction?

Question # 12
Is level of performance as important as pattern of performance for the classification of NLD?

Question # 13
What is the incidence of NLD in the general school population and relative to other learning disabilities?

Question # 14
Are there investigations of adults with NLD that have appeared in the literature?

Question # 15
Are there case studies of children and adolescents with NLD that have appeared in the literature?

Question # 16
Are there publications dealing with interventions for persons with NLD?

Question # 17
Is NLD is being "over-diagnosed"?

Question # 18
What are the neurodevelopmental dynamics and probable psychosocial outcomes (difficulties) for persons with NLD?
[answer] (Updated on May 28/2011)

Question # 19
But my 23-year-old son, who is said to exhibit NLD, is so bright! How could he possibly have all of the problems associated with NLD?

Question # 20
My 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with NLD when she was 8 years of age. She and I have been seeing a psychotherapist for the last 2 years. The psychotherapist has suggested that I have "overprotected" her. Does this mean that I am to blame for my child's maladaptive behaviour?

Question # 21
Can the behavioural challenges of children with NLD be overcome if parents and school personnel simply set up a good discipline plan with clear rewards and consequences?

Question # 22
Why do children with NLD sometimes say rude and disrespectful things?

Question # 23
Why do you not recommend insight-oriented, dynamic psychotherapy for adolescents or adults with NLD?

Question # 24
Are there subtypes of NLD?

Question # 25
Is there a role for Speech/Language Pathologists in NLD identification and intervention?

Question # 26
You appear to have coined the term, "false attribution of therapeutic efficacy".
What does this mean? Examples would help.

Question # 27
Do older children, adolescents, and adults with NLD exhibit deficits in "executive functions"? Are such deficits important dimensions of NLD?
[answer] (Updated on Jul. 5/2011)

Question # 28
What are the time frames within which NLD assets and deficits evolve?
What are the synergies that may obtain within these time frames?

Question # 29
Are children with NLD more prone to physical injury than are most other children?

Question # 30
Why do persons who exhibit symptoms of significant traumatic brain injury (TBI) often present with a pattern of neuropsychological assets and deficits that is suggestive of right cerebral hemisphere dysfunction?
Does this have any implications with respect to the presence or absence of NLD in such persons?

Question # 31
Are the academic and psychosocial dimensions of all persons with NLD exactly the same?
Is it necessary or desirable to formulate individual treatment plans for persons with NLD based solely on their NLD manifestations?

Question # 32
Why is auditory perception "spared", and tactile and visual perception impaired, in the NLD syndrome?

Question # 33
Are persons with NLD particularly prone to "panic attacks"?

Question # 34
Are persons with NLD prone to develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? If so, what may account for this?

Question # 35
What is the estimated probability that an experienced clinician would be able to assert with considerable confidence that significant perinatal complications have caused NLD in a particular case?

Question # 36
Some would maintain that the formulation/classification, "learning disabilities (LD)," is one that applies solely to challenges to successful progress in formal education in schools. Do you concur with this view?
If not, why not?

Question # 37
Is a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment necessary to determine (a) if someone exhibits the syndrome of NLD, and (b) appropriate treatment programming for the person with NLD? Would the application of a simple checklist of assets and deficits or some other, less comprehensive, method do the trick?

Question # 38
Are persons with NLD prone to develop Depression?
If so, what may account for this?
How about Bipolar Disorder?

Question # 39
What is the relationship, if any, between the Gerstmann and NLD syndromes?

Question # 40
What are the factors/features/dimensions that are most important for adults with NLD who wish to obtain and maintain a job?

Question # 41
What are the relationships among NLD, Asperger's Syndrome AS), and High Functioning Autism (HFA)?

Question # 42
This question is usually composed of two parts, as follows:

(1) What are the principal/essential references that one should consult in order to gain an appreciation of the theoretical bases and ramifications of the NLD/White Matter model?

(2) Have investigators other than you and your colleagues tested aspects of, and deductions from, the model and/or employed it to explicate findings regarding the neuropsychological and psychosocial consequences of various types of neurological disease, disorder, and dysfunction?
[answer] (Updated on Jul. 5/2011)

Question # 43
You assign Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to Level 3 in the NLD and Neurological Disease section. Does this hold any implications for the psychosocial disturbances that may follow TBI?

Question # 44
Are you aware of any known correlation between in utero mercury exposure and NLD?

Question # 45
Are there any forensic implications for persons with NLD?

Question # 46
There have been several reports in the media about children who have been the object of systematic bullying and other forms of abuse, primarily by their age-mates. As an apparent result, some of these abused youngsters have engaged in self-injurious behaviour (even suicide). Might NLD play a role in this?
[answer] (Updated on Jul. 5/2011)

Question # 47
Is psychosocial dysfunction one of the defining characteristics of NLD?
[answer] (Updated on Apr. 25/2011)

Question # 48
Are persons with NLD more prone to the development of Schizophrenia than are members of the general population?

Question # 49
Some have suggested that your views regarding the probable developmental course of psychosocial functioning for persons with NLD (Question 18) are too “negative". Any comments?

Question # 50
Some investigators maintain that the NLD model posits visual-spatial deficits as the primary cause of psychosocial dysfunction in persons with NLD. Is this the case?