Normative or Heavy Clouds? Early Indicators of Nonverbal Learning Disability Based on Mothers' Reports.

Sara Rosenblum, Michal Piran, Sonya Meyer, Dalia Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Children with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD) are verbally competent and particularly weak in nonverbal, visuospatial, and social abilities. Most of the literature about NVLD discusses the all-around functioning and diagnosis process during school years. In this qualitative study, the perceptions of mothers of children with NVLD were explored in the context of their children's daily functioning characteristics during their first 3 years. The aim was to identify early indicators and warning signs of NVLD during the developmental process. Method: Five mothers participated in two in-depth, semi-structured retrospective interviews. Results: Two main themes were identified: (a) "Everything was so normal," which revealed normal development in the first year, and (b) "The era of heavy clouds," which revealed warning signs at the age of 2 to 3 years. Developmental profile similarities and unique individual characteristics were identified and highlighted, and the effects on daily occupations and social interactions during early childhood were revealed. The findings support the need for in-depth evaluation and early identification in the crucial developmental preschool years. Conclusions: A deeper understanding of the nature and uniqueness of a significant learning disability like NVLD and its vast impact on a child's functioning and participation limitations may assist health care practitioners to adapt and provide suitable interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalThe Open Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


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