Individuals thought to have NLD typically demonstrate strengths in the following areas:
• Intelligence quotient (IQ) which is typically in the average to above-average range. Children with NLD tend to have verbal IQ scores that are higher than their performance scores, a factor that distinguishes them from kids with language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
• Rote verbal and expressive and receptive language skills, such as the ability to memorize and repeat a great deal of information presented to them in spoken form. They also exhibit early language development.
• Auditory processing skills, which entail learning better through hearing information, rather than seeing it (visual processing)
an advanced store of factual information; strong literacy skills; and excellent phonemic awareness, segmentation, decoding, and blending abilities. Students with a nonverbal learning disability tend to be verbal and have good receptive language abilities. (As they get older, their difficulties with oral organization and stating ideas become apparent.) They can follow sequential presentations and simply formatted visual aids and are usually able to follow verbal or written directions by rote.
Individuals thought to have NLD generally experience difficulties in several broad categories:
• Motor skills, such as graphomotor skills (related to printing and cursive writing), physical coordination, and balance
• Complex conceptual skills involved in problem-solving, understanding cause-effect relationships, and seeing the "big picture" versus focusing on details
• Visual-spatial-organizational skills, such as visualizing information and understanding spatial relations
• Social skills, such as using and understanding nonverbal communication (e.g., gestures, facial expressions), dealing with new information and situations, transitioning between situations, conversation skills, and understanding the nuances of spoken language (e.g., hidden meanings, figurative language)
Activity level: hyperactivity (when younger), and hypoactivity (as they grow older)