Strategies to Help Youth with NLD

by Leslie E. Packer, Ph.D., 2004



In another article on this site, Jean Foss provides some strategies for teachers. In a second article of hers published on the NLDline web site, she has also suggested the following strategies:

  • provide verbal mediation for nonverbal experiences, and in conjunction with their interactions with others, whenever appropriate
  • teach them to use their own verbal analytic strengths to mediate their own experiences
  • anticipate situations in which they might have difficulty, and act as a buffer and support to facilitate the most positive outcomes possible – help them to anticipate the kinds of situations in which they might have difficulty, and to plan in advance some alternative responses they might have to those situations
  • teach them to interpret facial expressions, gestures and other nonverbal aspects of communication
  • teach them to watch for and interpret indications from others that they are talking too much, or that the communication is ineffective in some other way
  • monitor their understanding when communicating, and teach them to self-monitor their understanding and ask clarifying questions
  • be particularly careful to ensure their understanding when spatial language is involved
  • take care to make cause-effect relationships explicit, whenever possible
  • help this learner to anticipate cause and effect relationships in order to avoid difficulties in many areas of life
  • teach and practice organizational skills
  • control as much as possible the demands for performance to be sure they are manageable and not seemingly overwhelming
  • relying on verbal strengths, help this individual practice and internalize the process of making decisions, setting goals, making plans and taking action to achieve those goals, and reflecting and evaluating the results. The outcome of the process must be to credit oneself for one’s own efforts and accomplishments
  • be confident and hopeful; interventions like those above can effect a positive difference


Other positive interventions, suggested by the NLDA, include:

  • Clearly Stated Expectations
  • Computer Use
  • Consistent Scheduling
  • Facilitated Group Activity
  • Foreign Language Waivers
  • Good Role Models
  • Language based therapy
  • Logical Explanations for Change
  • Mentoring
  • Methods for Coping with Anxiety
  • Methods for Coping with Sensory Defensiveness
  • Modified Art and Physical Education
  • Modified Grading
  • Modified Homework Assignments
  • Modified Testing (Time, Content)
  • Occupational and Physical Therapy
  • Organizational Skills Coaching
  • Prompted Writing Assignments
  • Psychotherapy, Cognitive Therapy
  • Second Set of Textbooks at home
  • Social Skills Training
  • Speech and Language Therapy which addresses social cognition rather than articulation
  • Time Management Coaching
  • Trained Advocates
  • Verbal Brainstorming
  • Verbal Explanation of Visual Material

and especially: