The University of Georgia

Fall Semester 1998


SPCM 4510

Nonverbal Communication

Mary Jacobs

Gonca Sanal

Anita Jackson

Howard Lewis  




A. First diagnosis

B. First to coin the term "NLD"

C. Historical significance of tests


A. Motoric skills

B. Visual/spatial organizational skills

C. Social ability


A. Academic achievement

B. Social interaction

C. Self-esteem


A. Assistance available

B. Description of tests administered

C. Nine main features to diagnose NLD









Nonverbal learning disorders are such a simple name for an elaborate and dynamic disorder. It is a maze that takes twists and turns through the corridors of one’s life. Nonverbal learning disorders are important to understand because 65 percent of our human communication system rests on the foundation of nonverbal communication codes. For example, it is impossible to build a house without a foundation for it to rest upon. For many people, this is a reality that must be dealt with daily. Throughout the life of an individual with the disorder, many bridges that link humans to each other are obliterated. It is our job as members of a functional society to understand the rules for nonverbal learning disorders. We must accept that all people are not given an opportunity to be quite as successful in the art of communicating without words.

First, we would like to explain the main components that we believe make up nonverbal learning disorders. We would like to define the nature of nonverbal learning disorders. What exactly is it? According to Thompson (1997) it is a disorder that does not allow a child to understand nonverbal communication and consequently they are not able to perform the correct nonverbal behavior in context. This inability of the child to perform the correct behavior will not only affect him or her, but also the people closest to them. The child will have difficulty performing many day to day functions such as getting dressed and carrying on a conversation with a caregiver. Also, the child will encounter many difficulties in the academic world. As the child gets older, the disorder will become more and more debilitating unless it is diagnosed and treatment is prescribed.

To truly grasp the concept of nonverbal learning disorders we must understand its characteristics. Nonverbal learning disabilities can be categorized into three broad areas. The first area is referred to as motoric skills. Some examples of the motoric skills that nonverbal learning disordered children lack are balance, coordination, and fine motor skills. The next area deals with spatial-visual-organizational skills. This includes spatial relationships and visual memory capabilities. We use a great deal of visual imagery in order to create schemata and to establish a memory of experiences. A child with nonverbal learning disabilities lacks these  capabilities and commonly finds himself/herself lost in a distractible world. The last area explains the social disabilities that children with nonverbal learning disorders must live with. Nonverbal learning disordered children cannot read nonverbal cues and so, in effect, they become isolated from their fellow peers.

Our third objective is to discuss how nonverbal learning disabilities affects the lives of  children. Nonverbal learning disabilities can be an overwhelming challenge with regards to everyday life. Three areas of concern for this disorder are academic achievement, emotional stability, and social interaction with peers. The frightening part of this disorder is that peers, parents, counselors, and especially teachers are just as affected by the disorder as the child is.

For parents, teachers, and friends of the child with a nonverbal learning disability, the goal is to educate them. We hope that through our seminar parents and teachers will learn more about the disability and services available to children. Our final objective is to discuss the assistance available (compensations, accommodations, modifications, and strategies), provide a list of tests administered to children (five to fifteen years), and give nine main features of NLD used to diagnose children by Rourke. As part of our handouts, we will provide the list of tests given and a list of rehabilitation offices around the state of Georgia.


Learning disorders of any type are very frustrating to a child who suffers through them. There is help for many of these children through services that offer assistance in setting up appropriate goals for success. If NLD is diagnosed early, the correct adjustments for the children’s education can be implemented. Early intervention will promote a higher academic performance level. It must be determined how serious a nonverbal learning disorder is and how it affects the child. In order to educate the public about this learning disorder, there is the need to research what NLD is. We will give a brief history of this disorder as well as some theories that discuss the etiology of the disorder. We will explain how researchers attempt to test those at risk for nonverbal learning disorders. (O. Thompson, 1985).

Ever since learning disabilities were first diagnosed, there was a general consensus to place all of the children experiencing these disabilities into one large category. That category was simply known as a learning disability. (O. Thompson, 1985). The term dyslexia literally means weak ability to read and came into use at the same time learning disabilities were being recognized by educators (O. Thompson, 1985). Therefore, since many learning disabilities concentrated on reading, the term dyslexia became associated with learning disabilities.

During the early 1970's, research showed an ever increasing number of children that did not fit into with the larger group of children having learning disabilities. As a result, there exist subgroups of learning disabilities (O. Thompson, 1985). In 1975 , Myklebust coined the term NLD, nonverbal learning disabilities.

The importance of being able to correctly test and diagnose NLD was a main concern  when the disability was first recognized. After years of studies by a large number of researchers, it was hypothesized that children with NLD were either deficient in right hemispherical systems or that they experienced significant difficulty in accessing such systems (Rourke et al., 1990). Rourke et al. (1990) researched case studies to observe the effects of NLD from childhood through adolescence. The sample size, for the study, consisted of just two children. The children were referred to as "Jane" and "Gerry." Rourke et al. followed their development up to the age of seventeen years. They theorized from their results that NLD was the result of right hemisphere dysfunction or a deficit in the accessing systems of the brain. Therefore, by understanding more about the cause of NLD, researchers are better able to diagnose the children with this disability. In the past, the ability for researchers to test for NLD took a great deal of effort. As a consequence, most of the history of NLD research focused on developing the correct type and style of test needed for a diagnosis of the disability (Shelly, 1985). Shelly’s main purpose in his research was to analyze a test that was used to diagnose NLD. He chose to look at a specific test, the Test of Nonverbal Intelligence. Shelly found that this test was greatly influenced by language impairment and cannot be considered reliable.

Since the mid 1970's when it was first discovered that there existed a learning disability called nonverbal learning disability, research has progressed greatly. Now the possibilities for a child diagnosed with NLD to advance in school and in life are without limit. With the correct academic setting and the correct treatment prescribed, the tireless work of all the researchers over the past 25 years is being paid back in the dividends of the lives of the children and the families they have helped (Rourke et al., 1990).

Thompson (1997), defines three broad components that make up nonverbal learning disorders. They are motoric skills, visual/spatial organizational skills, and social abilities. "The motoric skills that a child with nonverbal learning disabilities displays are lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with fine motor skills," (S. Thompson, 1997, p. 11).

Clumsiness is more often the first sign to parents that there is something wrong with their child.  Nonverbal learning disordered children have trouble with even the simplest tasks. Situations that call on the use of fine motor skills are impossible to do. As you can imagine, a young toddler will be less likely to explore his/her environment with these impairments. Normal developing toddlers use the sense of touch to come to an understanding of their environment. Nonverbal learning disordered toddlers never seek out such stimulation, and so, in effect, they never understand the attributes and functions of the things that make up their world. These toddlers are never given the opportunity to develop the visual and tactile schemata that a normal developing child creates. In order to compensate for the deficit of tactile sensory mechanics, a child with nonverbal learning disorders will begin to ask several questions. They use verbal stimuli to reach an understanding of their world. The use of this verbal technique is reinforced by caregivers who rely on it to relate to the child in some way. Through this, verbal abilities are increased and they begin to sound very intelligent, in spite of the extreme monotone quality of their voices. (S. Thompson,1997; Palombo, 1994).

As we move into preschool and elementary years, the motoric aspect becomes more relevant. The fine motor skills needed for writing prove to be quite difficult. Nonverbal learning disabled children may have very neat handwriting, but it is a slow and painstaking process. The words may appear heavy and dark due to the heavy grasp of a child that is over compensating in order to be successful. Another common problem of a nonverbal learning disordered child is the ability to understand the concept of staying seated. If a nonverbal learning disordered child begins to pay more attention to another task at hand, he/she may lose sight of balance and fall out of his chair. Most nonverbal learning disordered children prefer to work and eat on the floor.

Next is the visual/spatial organizational aspect. "This is observed in nonverbal learning disordered children as a lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, and difficulties with spatial relations," (S. Thompson, 1997, p. 11). A child with nonverbal learning disabilities pays more attention to details rather than grasping the "big picture." This lack of visual imagery in the mind causes children with NLD to lack such abilities as problem-solving and perceiving cause and effect relationships. Hence, they are constantly asking how to do something or what they should do. The NLD child uses verbal stimuli to create memories. He may talk through things in order to verbally label experiences.

A child with NLD has basically no spatial skills. This combined with the memory aspects can cause the child to become very lost. He must verbally memorize his surroundings in order to remember. When one of these children is faced with a changing situation, it can be destructive. They become very frustrated and emotional with a changing environment that does not complement their verbally memorized schemata.

The last component, social ability, leaves a significant psychological mark on children with NLD. "Their social difficulties include the lack of the ability to comprehend nonverbal communication, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, significant deficit in social judgment, and social interaction," (S. Thompson, 1997, p. 11 ). This includes proxemics, intonation, and facial expressions. The purpose of a study by Mehrabian and Ferris in 1967 was to investigate the consistency (or lack there of) between facial and vocal channels.

Basically, they tested how reliable facial cues are when accompanied by vocal cues and vice versa. For example, if someone said, "That was great," are the facial cues telling the NLD child that they truly did a great job or was the person trying to be sarcastic? The results of this study showed that facial components and vocal components do not intersect. The study by Mehrabian and Ferris (1967) found that the listener relies on facial cues more. The study strongly influences our understanding of the difficulties that children with NLD have when it comes to reading facial expressions. If facial cues are very important in understanding the feelings of others, then this explains why children with nonverbal disorders have such a hard time with interpersonal relationships. They are very trusting in that they will talk to strangers. Eye contact and a sense of humor are almost non existent. NLD children take everything literally.

NLD children prefer to speak with adults because adults are more predictable with responses and can be engaged verbally. The NLD child tries to compensate for their nonverbal disability by relying on verbal skills and strong verbal memory. Unfortunately, it is not enough to grasp the concept that is employed by NV codes. Interactions are a forever changing situation that a child with NLD is not able to handle. As a result, they become withdrawn and feel out of place. (J. Lewis, personal communication, November 5, 1998).

Nowicki and Duke (1992) claims that the most socially aware children are ones who use appropriate eye contact and smile techniques. They did a small study on facial expression’s decoding among children. They asked children to make a face of a particular emotion and then took a picture of the child making the emotion . Nowicki and Duke(1992) found that most of the children represented one facial expression to represent all emotional states. As children grow older there ability to express more emotions with facial expressions increases. Children with NLD never quite master this. They are then left behind and begin to feel the isolation from their other "normal" developing peers.

Nonverbal learning disorders have a tremendous effect on the lives of these children. The three components that are affected include academic achievement, self- esteem, and social interactions in group settings. When a child with nonverbal learning disabilities reaches pre-adolescence, parents and teachers notice an overwhelming decrease of academic performance in their classroom assignments. Prior to the diagnoses of NLD, children received above average to average grades in their courses. Afterwards, these children’s averages drastically from above average to below average in their academic studies. Also, these students experience difficulties in "understanding of complex verbal language," (O. Thompson, 1985, p. 400). As a result, these children have a lower performance on standardized tests. NLD children’s IQ scores show a "discrepancy between verbal IQ and performance IQ test scores," (S. Thompson, 1997, p. 10).

Another major reason why NLD children suffer academically is because of their inability to comprehend and complete assignments. One reason why completion of classroom assignments pose a problem for these students is because they experience complications in understanding classroom interaction. They subsequently encounter problems when concentrating on their assignments and forming productive work and study habits. Bryan (1977) states that "nonverbal communication plays a major role in a child’s academic status." (502).

The study by Feagans and Short(1984) measured reading comprehension of NLD children and normally achieving children. The first category sample consisted of 28 reading disabled children and 28 comparison children. The second group consisted of 21 reading disabled and 21 comparison children. Overall, the results indicate a comparison problem between the two groups, which were measured in the study. The longitudinal study did indicate that NLD children "were more likely to produce fewer actions, fewer complex sentences, fewer words, and more non-referential pronouns in their paraphrase of narratives than their peers," (Feagans & Short, 1984, p. 1734 ).

Social interaction also has a tremendous impact on the lives of children with nonverbal learning disabilities. In everyday involvement, these individuals tend to misinterpret various nonverbal cues during conversations. Because of the deficits in social awareness, children with this disability may have difficulty maintaining friendships. Nonverbal learning disabled children also lack the ability to perceive and interpret interactions correctly. Analogies, idioms, multiple meaning or figurative language tend to confuse NLD children. (S. Thompson, 1997). This is the reason why children with nonverbal learning disabilities lack the ability to comprehend sarcasm in jokes.

A research study was conducted on social perceptions in students with learning disabilities and attention-deficits/hyperactivity disorders(Hall,1985). There were 57 participants in the study. The research proved that there is a significant effect on a child’s ability to interpret nonverbal cues during social interactions (Hall, 1985). The inappropriate interaction amongst NLD and ADHD children with others gives them a social disadvantage in today’s society. Due to the lack of competence during communication, individuals with NLD generally resort to isolation and withdrawal from peer interaction because of their inability to put together the meaning of conversation.

Finally, self-esteem plays a tremendous role in a nonverbal learning disabled child’s academic achievement and their ability to interact with their peers. Research states that, "lower self concept has been related to factors that could affect the school achievement and may contribute to his or her lower self esteem." (Hall & Richmond, 1985, p. 90). These children also perceive themselves more negatively than their peers. The self-esteem of a NLD child is also associated with their inappropriate responses( Hall & Richmond, 1985). The individuals are placed in awkward positions, which often causes them to alienate themselves from their peers. These types of incidents cause a child to question his/her self worth.

Hall and Richmond (1985) measured self esteem and interpersonal relations of LD and NON-LD students in a study. There were 34 students who participated in the study; 17 LD and 17 NLD students. The results indicate that LD children experience problems during social interactions and academics, eventually suffering from lower self concept due to their inability to cope with every day struggles (Hall & Richmond,1985). The continuation of negative feedback from parents, teachers, and friends could lead to depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and withdrawal (S. Thompson, 1997). The most extreme cases commit suicide (S. Thompson, 1997).

Students with disabilities have their own method of learning. In the classrooms, children should be allowed different compensations, accommodations, modifications, and strategies. A child with NLD "will have difficulty with internal and external organization and coordination," (S. Thompson, 1996, p. 9). For example, tardiness may be a problem for a child with NLD because he/she lacks the ability to understand spatial and directional concepts. Teachers can help them by allowing extra time to get to class. According to S. Thompson (1996), some other compensations are to avoid power struggles, not forcing independence on a child, and too always  take a positive approach.

School accommodations help the child with NLD in many ways because it is designed to fit their personal needs. Thompson (1996) lists a number of helpful accommodations in her on-line article, "Nonverbal Learning Disorders." This article it mentions that "active verbalization and/or sub vocalization are the best memory approaches for this child, test answer sheets should be simplified, paper and pencil tasks should be kept to a minimal because of finger dexterity, expectations need to be direct and explicit, student’s schedule needs to be as predictable as possible, and the child needs to be assigned to one case manager at school," (Thompson, S., 1996, p. 10). Student support teams are "designed for meeting the student’s needs in the regular education program." (Rogers, 1994, p. 7). With all these accommodations, the child with NLD should be able to do well in school.Modifications are important in the life style of NLD children. The child needs to be in a learning environment that will further his/her social development. Parents should think about the proper placement environment for the child. The child cannot adjust to constant change in routine so they need to be in an environment in which a daily schedule is followed ( S. Thompson, 1996).

Finally, a very important strategy for family, teachers, and friends is to be engaged in constant communication with the child and to encourage them to give you verbal feedback. Also, according to S. Thompson (1996), adult role models should understand the child’s disability and talk in a way that the child will understand them. Thompson also believes that isolating, depriving, and punishing the child with NLD is not an effective method to discipline them.

As one of our handouts, we will be providing the participants of the seminar with a description of tests administered to children (five to fifteen years). The description includes the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Wide Range Achievement Test, Personality Inventory for Children, and many more. (Rourke, 1989).

Every disability has there own features to diagnose children with disabilities. Children with nonverbal learning disabilities have a "variety of diverse skills." (Myers & Hammill, 1982, p. 141). Also, "some children exhibit considerable difficulty in the acquisition of nonverbal motor patterns, such as learning to cut with scissors, jump rope, and comb hair." (p. 141). The nine most common features to diagnose nonverbal learning disabilities are "bilateral tactile perceptual deficits, bilateral psychomotor coordination deficiencies, outstanding deficiencies in visual-spatial-organizational abilities, marked deficits in nonverbal problem solving, well-developed rote verbal capacities, extreme difficulty in adapting to novel and complex situations, deficiencies in mechanical arithmetic, verbosity rote nature, and significant deficits in social perception, judgment, and interaction skills." (Myers and Hammill, 1982, p. 347-348; Rourke, 1987). Finally, as mentioned before, nonverbal learning disorders may lead to high cases of depression and suicide (Myers and Hammill, 1982). 



FIRST- The speaker is asked to sit behind the black backdrop that we have provided. This separates the speaker visibly from the audience. The speaker is a volunteer chosen from the audience. The speaker will be given a small microphone so that the audience will be able to clearly understand the dialogue.

SECOND- The audience is asked to pull out a blank sheet of paper that was provided with the handouts and numbered from one to five.

THIRD- The speaker is given the following to read out loud to the audience. He/she is to read the directions at the top of the paper to himself/herself before preceding.

Read the following statements using a monotone voice but do use the correct facial expressions that apply. Please read each statement carefully before reading them allowed.

1. Be sarcastic using just facial expressions and say, "I'm so excited." Now the seminar guide asks the audience to indicate what emotion is being expressed by this statement and to record their answer by the number 1.

2. Show a facial expression expressing shock but still using a monotone voice and say, "It was this big." The seminar guide then asks the audience the same question as was stated in question one but asks the audience to record their answers by number 2.

3. Show a facial expression that represents your own opinions on having a dog for a pet, but make that facial expression saying, "I love dogs and I think they make great pets,"( but keep it at a monotone voice). The seminar guide then asks the audience to record what they believe the speaker feels about having dogs as pets, next to number three.

JUSTIFICATION: The purpose of this activity is to show the audience that a majority of our language is represented by nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions. It allows the audience to experience the deficits that a nonverbal learning child possesses. They may feel frustration and maybe even lose self-esteem.


FIRST- Section off about 20 people in the seminar . Inform them that they are now students of Mrs. Owens second grade classroom. The other audience members are asked to observe and take notes. One volunteer from the imaginary classroom is designated as the NLD child. Everyone that makes up the class is told that they are seated in their assigned seats. They are also told that Mrs. Owens is the meanest teacher in the whole school and does not tolerate disobedience.

SECOND- Everyone in the class is asked to play their roles as seriously as possible. The audience is asked to stay as quiet as possible and to just observe what happens.

Activity begins: Mrs. Owens asks the NLD child to run a note next door to Mrs. Johnson’s room and to return it as soon as possible because spelling class is ready to begin. When the actor (the NLD child) has left the seminar hall there is another seminar guide outside the door to direct the NLD child to Mrs. Johnson’s room. When the child gets there, they are told by another seminar guide that they came to the wrong classroom. The guide points the child to another room in another direction.

When they get there, the child is told that they have the wrong room again. That guide directs the NLD child back towards the seminar hall. The child is then approached by another guide claiming to be the principal. The principal begins to ask the child where they are going and why they are not in class. The child will more than likely say, "I have a note from Mrs. Owens to give to Mrs. Johnson. The principal then directs the child to a room next to the seminar hall. A seminar guide in the room claims to be Mrs. Johnson and takes the note.

While this is all going on outside, the guide who is playing Mrs. Owens tells the students to get up from where they are seated and randomly change seats. The teacher, Mrs. Owens, reminds the audience and students that she is a strict teacher and loves assigned seats. The instructor does this to simulate what it’s like for a NLD child dealing with spatial difficulties.

As the NLD child walks down the seminar hall aisle back to their seat, Mrs. Owens (now in character) says very sternly, "You have missed 20 minutes of spelling class!" (While pulling the child aside to the front of the class). Mrs. Owens then says she will be sending a note home to his/her parents for being late. (Mind that this is being said in front of the whole class).

Mrs. Owens asks the child to sit down in their assigned seat so that she may continue to teach the class. The volunteer that plays the role of the NLD child realizes that someone else is in his/her seat. He/she will probably look very confused.

The students may begin to laugh a little but Mrs. Owens is still stern. Mrs.Owens looks at the child with great anger and tells him or her to sit down in their assigned seat once again. He/she will more than likely say that someone is in their seat. Mrs.Owens gets even madder and tells the child to take the hall pass and find their way to the principal’s office.

CONCLUSION- The volunteer who played the role of the child was asked to explain what had happened to them outside of the hall. The guide takes over and explains the seminar to everyone. The guide then asks the audience what they wrote down as they observed what was happening in the seminar hall. They are then encouraged to ask any questions regarding the activity.

JUSTIFICATION: The purpose of this activity was to provide a look into the visual-spatial organizational deficits of an NLD child as well as the social and self-esteem aspects of the disorder.


 1. Common Characteristics of Nonverbal Learning Disorders

2. Important Contacts and Sources for Nonverbal Communication Disorders

3. Names of Tests Administered to Children

4. Division of Rehabilitation Services Office Locations (Georgia)


1. Define the 3 broad aspects of deficits that make up NLD.

2. How do NLD children memorize since they lack the ability to use visual stimuli to memorize?

3. List the three areas in which nonverbal learning disabilities affect the lives of the children.

4. What are some examples of a not effective method to discipline children?

5. TRUE/FALSE - Children with NLD tend to have a higher performance on standardized tests.

6. TRUE/FALSE - Modifications are important in the life of a child with NLD.

7. Who first coined the tern NLD?

8. Which side of the brain do most researchers believe people with NLD is affected? 


1. Motoric, visual/spatial organizational, and social

2. They must verbally talk themselves through situations in order to memorize them.

3. Academic achievement, social interaction, self-esteem

4. Isolating, depriving, and punishing a child

5. False

6. True

7. Myklebust

8. Right



Please answer (in one - two sentences) the following questions regarding the seminar on Nonverbal Learning Disabilities.

1. What are some of the strengths of the seminar?

2. What are some of the weaknesses of the seminar?

3. Was the seminar informative?

4. Did the speakers organize and present the material in a way in which the audience can understand it?

5. Did the activities help the audience understand the emotional stress experienced by a child with NLD?

6. Do you think that an annual presentation of this seminar is beneficial?

7. Did you think that a quest speaker on the field would enhance the seminar?

8. Additional comments about the seminar?

9. Comments about speakers:

Mary Jacobs

Howard Lewis

Anita Jackson

Gonca Sanal

10. Please list your overall reactions about the meaning of NLD.


In writing this paper we hoped to stress the importance of educating the public about Nonverbal Learning Disorders. As future educators, parents, and most of all, as members of a great society, it is essentially important to understand the dimensions of the human race. We all possess capabilities and limits.

We chose to study nonverbal learning disorders because it is a relatively new disorder that not many people understand or even know it exists. Through our studies of nonverbal communication we have come to realize just how important nonverbal codes are. We could not imagine a person who lacked all of these abilities. Through our research we were able to grasp the disorder and explain it in a way that our audience could understand.

Now that a name has been assigned to this particular disorder, it is now becoming more prevalent among our growing population. Hence, the chances of coming into contact with this disorder is increased. It is our job to be educated and capable of working with someone with the disorder.


Bryan, T.H. (1977). Learning disabled children’s comprehension of nonverbal communication. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 10, 501-506.

Frankenberger, M.C. (1997). Non-verbal learning disabilities: An emerging profile. [On-line]. Available Internet:

Hall, C.W., & Richmond B.O. (1985). Non-verbal communication, self-esteem and interpersonal relations of LD and non-LD students. Exceptional Children, 32, 87-91.

Mehrabian, A., & Ferris, S. R. (1967). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 31, 248-252.

Myers, P.I., & Hammill D.D. (1982). Learning disabilities: Basic concepts, assessment practices, and instructional strategies. Austin, TX: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Nowicki, S., & Duke, M. (1992). Helping the child who doesn’t fit in. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.

Palombo, J. (1994). Descriptive Profile of Children with nonverbal learning disabilities. [On-line]. Available Internet:

Raskind, M.H., Drew, D.E., & Regan, J.O. (1989). Nonverbal communication signals in behavior-disordered and non-disordered LD boys and NLD boys. Learning Disability Quarterly, 6, 12-19.

Rogers, W. (1994). Specific Learning Disabilities. (Available from the Office of the State Superintendent of Schools, Division for Exceptional Students, 1960 Twin Towers East, Atlanta, GA).

Rourke, B.P. (1989). Nonverbal learning disabilities: The syndrome and the model. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Rourke, B.P., Del Dotto, J.E., Rourke, S.B., & Casey, J.E. (1990). Nonverbal learning disabilities: The syndrome and a case study. Journal of School Psychology, 28, 361-385.

Shelly, M.H. (1985). Test of nonverbal intelligence. Journal of Reading, 28, 422-425.

Thompson, O.M. (1985). The nonverbal dilemma. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 18, 400-402.

Thompson, S. (1997). The source for nonverbal learning disorders. East Moline, IL: Linguisystems, Inc.

Thompson, S. (1996). Nonverbal learning disorders. [On-line]. Available                   Internet:






8:00 - 8:30 a.m. - Last minute registration

$15.00 for lunch and seminar or $7.00 for seminar only

T-shirt sales $10.00 each

8:30 - 8:45 a.m. - Set up of video

8:45 - 9:00 - Show a 15 minute video of child with NLD at school to introduce the disorder to the audience.

9:00 - 9:05 a.m. - 5 minute break

9:05 - 9:15 Explanation of the importance of understanding how it feels to be an NLD child

9:15 - 9:45 a.m. - History of NLD and research from past Speaker -  Howard Lewis

Speaker - Howard Lewis

9:45 - 10:15 a.m. - Activity 1 - (Please look on page 16 for description of activity.)

10:15 - 10:20 a.m. - 5 minute break

10:20 - 10:50 a.m. - Characteristics of NLD -

Speaker - Mary Jacobs

Discuss three aspects of NLD:

1. Motoric skills

A. Fine motor skills deficits

2. Visual/spatial organizational skills

A. Visual Memory deficits

B. Understanding the environment

3. Social Ability

A. Study by Mehrabian and Ferris (1967)

B. Study by Nowicki and Duke (1992)

C. Feeling of isolation experienced as a child with NLD. Include a quote from a psychological evaluation of an NLD child's experience of isolation from his peers.   This allows the audience to share the child's pain.

10:50 - 11:00 a.m. - 10 minute break

11:00 - 11:45 a.m. - Activity 2 (Please look on page 18 for description)

1:00 - 1:30 p.m. - Achievement and interaction with an NLD child

Speaker - Anita Jackson

1:30 - 2:00 p.m. - Names of tests and office locations in the state of Georgia

Speaker - Gonca Sanal

Distribution of third handout - "Names of Tests Administered to Children"  Will give names of the tests and will tell where to find out the descriptions of  each test.  Distribution of fourth handout - "Division of Rehabilitation Services, Offices and locations."

2:00 - 2:05 p.m. - 5 minute break

2:05 - 2:15 p.m. - Mini Quiz

2:15 - 2:25 p.m. - Give answers to quiz

2:25 - 2:45 p.m. - Evaluation of seminar to be filled out by participants

2:45 - 3:30 p.m. - Questions and answers

Reproduced on NLDline with permission of the authors.