Are Nonverbal Learning Disabilities the Same as Asperger’s Syndrome?

By Mark J. Griffin, Ph.D.

Are nonverbal learning disabilities the same as Asperger’s syndrome?

Mark J. Griffin, Ph.D.

Founding Headmaster, Eagle Hill School

No, but there’s a lot of overlap between  andnonverbal learning disabilities(NVLD). Many experts consider them to be separate conditions that look a lot alike.

Studies indicate that most children who meet the criteria for Asperger’s also meet the criteria for NVLD. But the opposite of that doesn’t appear to be true. Many children with NVLD don’t meet the criteria for Asperger’s. This is in part because Asperger’s tends to involve more severe social skills issues than NVLD.

Abby Bell

Abby has NVLD but was initially misdiagnosed with Asperger’s.

One way to help kids who have either or both of these conditions is get them involved in a social skills group at school or in the community. Talk to your child’s school or doctor about other ways to help your child learn how to interact more successfully in social situations.

Watch this video from my colleague, Sheldon Horowitz, for more on the differences between the two. You can also explore Parenting Coach for specific tips from experts.

About the Author

Portrait of Mark Griffin

Mark J. Griffin, Ph.D., was the founding headmaster of Eagle Hill School, a school for children with specific learning disabilities.