Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It Doesn't Go Away... But That is OK

I talk to a bunch of parents whose kids are diagnosed with NVLD (or NLD) and because my son is 18, and because he was diagnosed when he was young (which makes us experienced), and because he is pretty successful with his accommodations in place, there are a lot of parents who see him as "cured."

Well, he's not. (And he has given me permission to tell you so.)

We went to visit a college last week. Yes, this is late, but not as late as the visit we will make this week! (The decision must be made by May 1.) We were riding in the car and started talking about the Autobahn... and, thinking I was being cute I said, "Not to be confused with Audobon..."

"Audobon?" My son asked.

"Yeah, he was an artist in the 1800s. He painted birds."

There was a really long pause...

"I... don't understand," my son said.

"You don't understand paintings of birds?"

Then he got hysterical.

Yeah. He was imagining painting ON birds.

Too funny!

He can still be a bit literal (I say this knowing that that phrase will really bug him... one of the joys of motherhood!)

And organizational skills and processing time, and handing things in, and a few other things are still a big part of the way he is. The beauty is that he knows this and has a bunch of strategies that he knows how to use to help himself.

I expect he will have some struggles related to his diagnosis at some points in his life. I also expect that he will approach them with his trademark good humor and analytical processes. I expect he will take the things he knows and apply them to the things he needs... I expect he knows how to self-advocate and will ask for help sometimes. I expect some times he will muddle for a bit. And I expect he will figure out his own way in the world...

With his disability.

This phase of life is an adventure for everyone. He does have some different issues to contend with...

And he will be fine.

Picture from here.


Terena said...

I love this post. Here's to a shiny, adventure filled, prosperous future for your son (and you).

Anonymous said...

A family close to us (their graduating senior) will receive special support services at the college he will attend in the fall. I hope the colleges you are visiting are offering something similar. Email me if you want to know more. Barbara

medrecgal said...

Yes, I can completely relate to this as a now middle-aged adult who still tangles with the complexities and craziness of NLD every day in some's to hoping your son has a far less bumpy ride down the road to success than I did, when they didn't know nearly as much about these things!

At least these days it's a bit less of a nuisance now that I managed to find a relatively suitable career niche. That's not to say it's easy...but I've come to a spot where it doesn't drive me nuts 24/7 like it did for a very long time.

thecatsmeow said...

Yes, indeed. If only they had been this insightful when I was 18...but they didn't know much about NLD back then and it took me many years to sort things out enough to keep from completely going off the deep end. I laughed out of total familiarity at the "painting birds" story. That NLD tendency to be too literal can result in some interesting and frustrating moments, to be sure!

"Cured"? Never going to happen in my lifetime as far as I can see... and it doesn't have to, because over time we learn ways to compensate. That doesn't mean it's a walk in the park, but knowing that it's NLD and there are ways around it helps quash what might otherwise be constant frustration. God only knows where I'd be without accommodations, both then and now. I'd never have survived college--or in a career--without them!

danette said...

This is great! I can see my boys still being very literal-minded even as adults :) I love your perspective on your son making his own way, and wish him the best in college!

Terri said...

Thank you everyone! And Tom thanks you as well. Things are pretty exciting.

Barbara, thank you! There is a disability services office on campus and Tom has already been in touch with them... if your friend has any other tips I would LOVE to hear them.

Medrecgal and TCM, thanks for your support. He is looking at an eventual degree in library science... (as of today!) I hope he will build his life the way you have--not without work, but true to himself.

Thanks, Danette--the fun never ends!

lilwatchergirl said...

I have dyspraxia, which is a more common diagnosis in this country than in the US, where similar symptoms are usually diagnosed as NVLD. I've been a teacher and trainer, and I'm about to start a PhD. How fantastic that you son has such a positive family around him! Best of luck to him. He's going to achieve a lot. :)