7 Ways To Help Students With NVLD Succeed

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Every child needs love and encouragement to reach their full potential. But if your son or daughter has been diagnosed with Non-Verbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), they will need a little extra help finding their place in the world.

Typically, individuals with NVLD struggle with organization, attention, executive functioning, nonverbal communications, and motor skills. These differences make it difficult to succeed, both socially and academically.

As a private school for Non-Verbal Learning Disorder in Charlotte, The Epiphany School is well aware of the difficulties faced by children with NVLD. Based on this first-hand experience, we have compiled seven ways parents can help students with NVLD succeed.


  1. Learn More About NVLD
  2. Provide Help With Organization
  3. Utilize Social Emotional Learning Resources
  4. Explore Occupational Therapy
  5. Reduce Environmental Triggers
  6. Educate Your Child’s Teachers

1. Learn More About NVLD

In the wake of an NVLD diagnosis, many parents feel overwhelmed and confused. Parents of neurodiverse children sometimes have many questions: What school setting is best for them? What will their future hold?

To answer some of these unknowns, educate yourself on NVLD. Consider:

  • Reading books on communications differences
  • Watching videos about what it’s like to have NVLD
  • Chatting with other parents of children with NVLD
  • Joining an online support group

Remember: Your child isn’t defined by their learning disability. However, by educating yourself on their condition, you can provide more appropriate and compassionate support.

2. Provide Help With Organization

Students with NVLD are often labeled as “low achievers” because they lack executive function skills. These skills, like time management and self-control, are required to plan and achieve goals.

For example, a student with NVLD may:

  • Leave their textbooks at home
  • Forget about important school projects
  • Spend a disproportionate amount of time focused on one or two homework problems
  • Frequently lose personal items like jackets and water bottles

As a parent, you can help your child by creating systems of organization. Try color-coding subject folders or writing important deadlines on a whiteboard. Establishing a homework routine can also help.

3. Utilize Social Emotional Learning Resources

A hallmark behavior associated with NVLD is social difficulty. A child with NVLD may feel like an outsider in the classroom, struggling to interpret facial expressions, understand sarcasm, and nurture friendships.

Luckily, a structured social emotional learning (SEL) program can help your child understand the nuances of the social world. As a private school for Non-Verbal Learning Disorder in Charlotte, The Epiphany School offers daily SEL instruction through our Friends and Feelings™ class.

But what if your child’s public school doesn’t offer SEL instruction? In this case, consider enrolling your son or daughter in an extracurricular activity centered around a special interest. You may also consider joining a social skills group.

4. Explore Occupational Therapy

NVLD is characterized by deficits in visual-spatial abilities. Individuals with NVLD typically struggle with fine motor skills like using scissors, tying shoelaces, and gripping a pencil. They may also struggle with gross motor skills like throwing a ball and riding a bike.

Since NVLD is a neurological issue, a child will never “outgrow” the physical manifestations of the condition. However, occupational therapy can improve motor skills and reduce clumsiness.

Encouraging your child to get adequate exercise can be beneficial too. Though your son or daughter may not feel comfortable playing school sports, they may enjoy walking in the neighborhood or doing yoga at home.

5. Reduce Environmental Triggers

Sensory triggers like noises, smells, sounds, and temperature can overwhelm students with NVLD. With this in mind, The Epiphany School aims to create a safe, nurturing learning environment. We help students accomplish more than they ever thought possible by removing distracting triggers from the classroom.

You can recreate this soothing environment at home by:

  • Eliminating clutter
  • Installing dimmable lights
  • Repairing appliances that make loud noises
  • Avoiding strongly-scented cleaning products

6. Educate Your Child’s Teachers

Since NVLD is not included as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the condition is largely misunderstood by educators in traditional public schools.

If you notice your child is falling behind academically, schedule a meeting with your son or daughter’s teachers. Most growth happens when all stakeholders are involved and working on the same strategies and using the same language.

During this meeting, educate them on NVLD and explain your child’s unique learning style. You may suggest:

  • The use of computational aids in arithmetic, like number lines and charts
  • Explicit explanations of figurative language, metaphors, idioms, and jokes
  • Explicit instruction in written language structures like cause/effect and compare/contrast
  • One-on-one instruction in handwriting and keyboarding

7. Consider a Private School for Non-Verbal Learning Disorder in Charlotte

It’s not uncommon for students with NVLD to fall through the cracks of a traditional public school classroom. Teachers often don’t understand how to accommodate a student with NVLD. Or, they may not have the time to provide one-on-one instruction.

Luckily, there is a better solution. When your child attends The Epiphany School, a private school for Non-Verbal Learning Disorder in Charlotte, they will receive much-needed resources and multi-tiered systems of support. They will learn in a classroom of no more than six students, keeping pace with rigorous state standards while exploring the nuances of communication through daily SEL instruction. In short, they will thrive.

Want to learn more about our school? Contact Us


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