Solving the puzzle of Non-Verbal Language Disorder

Eve came to us at the recommendation of a psychologist who diagnosed her with Non-Verbal Language Disorder NVLD.  (See blog dated January 25th)  The diagnosis was given following a horrendous school year.  Eve is in advanced and honor classes.  She is academically bright yet struggles.  Her challenges include slow processing speed, decreased working memory and problems with visual-spatial skills.

 We decided to work toward change by targeting her ability to pay attention, logic and reasoning, visual processing and processing speed.  Eve participated in 36 hours of brain training at The Brain Trainer along with weekly home assignments. 

 To build her attention, we began with simple repetitive tasks and “cancellation” tasks (crossing out a targeted picture, letter, or number when a lot of stimuli is presented).  We purposely added more and more distractions to have Eve learn to work though distractions.  We also defined two tasks and had her practice shifting between these two tasks with different stimuli, such as a naming task and a copying task.

 We attacked working memory by solving calculations mentally and pushing speed in this area as well.  For logic and reasoning we had Eve practice many higher-level grouping and categorization tasks, especially looking for patterns.  We also targeted her ability to make inferences.  To improve speed, much of her work was done with an ever-increasing metronome speed and many timed tasks. 

 Six weeks into the new school year Eve has less test anxiety; her homework is taking less time and her grades are up.  She is more confident and more willing to try new things.  She reports better control of her thoughts and feeling less “scatterbrained.”  We congratulate Eve on her success so far and we’re proud to be part of it!  We’re confident that the 2010 - 2011 school year will be a turnaround year for Eve.

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