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I was asked to write a short story in under ten minutes; when I failed to finish it in the alotted time, she asked me to describe how it would have ended.
I was asked to create shapes with a set of hexagonal wood pieces, and to put a series of pictures in chronological order. I was given a questionnaire to fill out, evaluating my feelings towards my family, my school, and my classmates, and how I thought they felt about me.
Like the confusing, seemingly useless rules, I had spent much of my educational career being shuffled from resource room to tutor without any seeming rhyme or reason; I just accepted the doctor’s appointment as one more in a long line of odd things my parents and teachers made me do.
So I didn’t know at the time what was in that evaluation. After spending several pages describing the strengths and weaknesses the doctor had observed, she gave her diagnosis: non-verbal learning disorder.
I didn’t see it; I don’t think I even knew it had arrived.
Nor do I know what I would have thought if I had known; I still didn’t realize what the appointment had been about.
And since I wore a uniform to school, she didn’t need to worry about my embarassing her in front of my teachers by showing up in tie-dyed sweatpants.
But when we had an appointment or were visiting extended family (usually the latter) she would lay clothes out for me.
You can’t sit by yourself on the playground and read books, even though your teachers are always telling the class that reading is important.
I didn’t know why we were seeing a doctor in Oakville, since my regular doctor was right there in Hamilton, but I didn’t really care either way.
The doctor’s office was much fancier than my doctor at home: wall-to-wall carpet and nice leather chairs.
When I was ushered in to see the doctor, her office looked more like a classroom than a proper doctor’s office; where were the needles and stethescopes?
The tests she had me undergo, too, felt much more like schoolwork than anything medical.