Today we are talking about nonverbal learning disorder, or NVLD, a disorder which is usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills. Whereas most learning disorders involve language or “decoding” language and learning to read, NVLD has the “non-verbal” terminology in it because it’s referring to challenges that are NOT related to verbal and language decoding. Instead, according to the Child Mind Institute, NVLD typically includes challenges in the areas of: visual and spatial awareness, higher-order comprehension, social communication, math concepts, and/or executive functions.
My guest for today’s conversation is Laura Lemle, the mother of a now-grown daughter with NVLD and the founder of The NVLD Project, an organization that funds research, educational workshops, and community outreach to build support and raise awareness about non-verbal learning disability. In our conversation, Laura shares her personal journey of raising her daughter, trying to find the right educational solution, and what she hopes her organization contributes to the movement to have NVLD recognized as a formal diagnosis among medical professionals.
About Laura: Dr. Laura Lemle completed her undergraduate studies at Barnard College and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology at Yeshiva University. Laura practiced clinical psychology for nearly 20 years before choosing to enter the real estate business. Today, she runs LC Lemle Real Estate Group, a residential real estate company which owns and manages multi-family dwellings throughout Manhattan.
Throughout her life, Laura has been committed to helping others. In 2013, she founded The NVLD Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people affected by this disability. The Project was inspired by her daughter who was diagnosed with Non-Verbal Learning Disability at the age of five.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Laura’s story of discovering her child’s unique profile and securing her the support she needed
- Why Laura feels she never found the right school for her daughter
- Why nonverbal learning disorder doesn’t have a clear definition yet, and how experts are trying to come to consensus
- The challenges in finding the right educational fit and/or support within a school for challenges related to NVLD
- Why Laura started The NVLD Project and what its mission is
- How aware health professionals and evaluators are of NVLD
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