Play & Book Excerpts
Excerpt from: A Special Kind of Brain:
Living with Nonverbal Learning Disability (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
© Nancy Burger
Parenting turns us into living, breathing, fretting magnifying glasses. Everything our child sees, we see more deeply because we were once children ourselves. Every time our child feels pain, we feel it more acutely, simply because we so want to rid them of it all together. When they’re happy, we’re delirious. When they’re sad, we’re downtrodden. But when our child struggles with something that the world at large doesn’t fully understand and, even worse, tends to fault them for – this is beyond sympathy and/or empathy – in fact, it’s far beyond what we have come to expect as parents. This is what nonverbal learning disability (NLD) represents to those of us who have watched a child consistently misfire in his world, to become socially isolated and generally misunderstood. Even more frightening is this: Such widespread misunderstanding can lead our children to lose the love for themselves that we have tried so earnestly to nurture. How can we protect them from that? The answer is, we can’t. But what we can do is manage the world around them by trying to avoid situations that make them feel unsuccessful. While this sounds simple, and what any parent would do, the logistics can sometimes feel impossible. But this is our charge as parents of NLD children and, as difficult as it may seem at first, it eventually becomes as much a part of our daily lives as worrying about whether they’ll make the bus or what this week’s bully might try on the playground.