Positives of NLD

January, 2004

Dear Friends,

   I am often confronted by the negative aspects of having NLD by others, and many people are rightly concerned about their own future if they are an NLD individual or their child's future if they are a parent.  However, I want to stress that NLD has been a positive for me in my life.  I was diagnosed with NLD about six and a half years ago.  Before I was diagnosed with NLD, I was attempting to become a speech language pathologist.  Now, as a 37 year old NLD adult, I can see the many positive events that have occurred in my life after finding out I was NLD.

  First, I was finally able to see that I needed find a profession that emphasized my verbal skills, and that was teaching at the college level.  I have been teaching for the last three years.  Second, through the kindness of Sue Thompson, I was able to attend a conference in Oakland, California by Share Support, which is now the Nonverbal Learning Disorders Association (NLDA), and be a part of the NLD adult panel.  I have attended the last 6 West Coast Symposiums, and have met so many wonderful people in the NLD community, especially NLD adults who have become good friends of mine.  Honestly, if I did not have NLD, I would not have had the opportunity to have met these friends from the NLD adult community and have them be a part of my life.  For parents who are concerned about their NLD children, my experience with NLD adults has shown that they are some of the kindest and most empathetic individuals that I have ever known.  They are also very trustworthy and have been there for me both during good times and bad times, such as the turmoil of my parents' divorce.  Also, there are successful NLD adults out there in regard to careers who have found ways in which to utilize their strengths and be successful.  In addition, some of these NLD adults are among the most talented individuals I have known in my life.  For example, there are talented singers and writers in our community.  What I am trying to say is that despite the challenges we face as NLD individuals, many NLD people are succeeding and doing many positive things in which we all can be proud.

   Another positive of having NLD is that I have been able to try to educate people about NLD and help others.  One of the reasons that I wanted to be a speech language pathologist is that it is a helping profession where you are giving to others.  As a board member and liaison to the NLD adult community for NLDA, I have had the opportunity to give to others and try to help them.  I am always willing to meet with both NLD adults and parents of NLD children.  Through the help of another NLD adult, I was able to make my dream of having an NLD support group in New Jersey become a reality.  It is a support group for both NLD adults and parents.  Progress is occurring in our community, and I am hopeful that things will get better for NLD individuals by us all working together.

  Another positive of having NLD is that I moved back to New Jersey.  When I was trying to become a speech language pathologist at a college in Ohio, I was planning on staying in the Midwest.  By coming back to New Jersey, I was able to get the much needed family support, especially by my mother who has been there throughout my life.  I have been able to save and invest for my future by using my knowledge about investing from my stockbroker days.  Also, I have met many people, including my good friend Dianne who has been a great source of support.  Overall, I think that my life since being diagnosed with NLD has been a positive journey, and I owe a great deal of gratitude to the people in the NLD community for their terrific
support.  Best wishes to all.

                                 Al Vadon 

                          You can reach Al through his email at  vadons@yahoo.com

Read other thoughts by Al Vadon