Coping with a Loved One’s Non-Verbal Learning Disability

Nonverbal learning disorder/disability (NVLD) is a little known neurological condition in the UK, but it sits along side other learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, autism, dyspraxia, and ADD/ADHD.

When a loved one is diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disability (NVLD), it can be difficult to know what to do next – particularly if that loved one is your child.

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Thankfully, there are ways you can make your loved one feel safe, supported, and comfortable in your home.

Here are a few practical tips to assist, brought to you by Jenny Wise, an American home educator and blogger, specifically for The Cambridge Home Educator


Smartphones and Tech May Help 

If you’re a parent, you already know that smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly common in education. The perk of this influx of tech is that children whose NVLD is due to autism may be able to communicate better by using a smartphone or tablet

Some very recent studies have demonstrated that non-verbal children with autism have been able to develop enhanced communication skills as a result of having access to tablets. There are also apps that can help those with NVLD and varying forms of autism. 

Tech Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive 

While tech can be helpful for children with NVLD, it can also be pretty pricey – that is, unless you shop with wireless providers who offer trade-in and sign-up deals on the latest smartphones and tablets. If you’re an existing customer, you can start by checking to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade. How-To Geek notes a benefit to purchasing via a wireless company is that you may be able to split your purchase into monthly payments and have it incorporated into your monthly bill so that it’s less taxing on your budget.

Getting Rid of Clutter Can Be Tricky 

Read through any list of tips for creating a healthy, happy home and you’ll see that decluttering is nearly always at the top. While excess clutter can lead to stress for many people, it’s important to remember that organization can be quite a paradoxical concept for those who are living with NLD or NVLD. 

If your loved one’s home or room seems consistently untidy, it’s important to keep this in mind so you can maintain compassionate and realistic expectations. You may also want to enlist the help of others in straightening the space, to keep stress and tension minimal for all. Ask a friend or family member to lend a hand. With the right perspective, everyone can sail through the process and be more content as a result. 

Hiring Cleaners Can Tame the Chaos 

Depending on the level of your loved one’s NVLD, they may view organizing and cleaning as a complex puzzle they simply cannot solve. Rather than stressing them or yourself out, it may be more prudent for you to learn from others with NVLD and hire a professional organizer or cleaning services to help. 

Many people recommend looking for a cleaning service that will help with organization and decluttering. Having a service come to the home on a consistent basis could be beneficial, too, if this expense fits into your budget. 

Relaxation Spaces Are So Very Crucial

Finding ways to stay organized and for your loved one to communicate will ensure that your family feels more at ease in your home. Even so, the stress of coping with an NVLD diagnosis can be overwhelming at times, and this is why you and your loved one may need dedicated areas in the home to relax and forget about the outside world.

A reading nook can be perfect for children, teens, or even adults. You can even fit one of these cozy spaces into a smaller home. Fill the shelves of this nook with books that offer insights into NVLD, so your family can learn more about this challenge and how to best support the one you love. Take steps to keep this space as comfortable as possible. 

Adapting a home for a person with NVLD does not require drastic changes. It’s really the smaller touches that can make life a little easier for your loved ones. Add tech to provide an alternate method for communication, be gentle when teaching your loved one to stay organized, and make sure you have spaces where you can unwind without stress. A little tweaking will go a long way towards helping you and your loved one enjoy a better quality of life.

By Jenny Wise
Dec 2022.

You can see more of Jenny’s articles at


Wanting to learn more about NVLD?



What Is Nonverbal Learning Disorder? –

The Conversation: 
What parents and teachers should know about non-verbal learning disability –

Psychology Today: 
Nonverbal Learning Disorder –

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