A nonverbal learning disability (NLD) is a developmental disorder that impairs a person's capacity to perceive, express, and understand nonverbal (nonlinguistic) signs. The dysfunctions affect behaviors, social interactions, perceptions and feelings regarding oneself and others, and emerging personality patterns. NLD constrains an individual's capacity to function in a wide variety of domains, including the academic, social, emotional, and vocational. Parents and clinicians often have difficulty understanding and helping children and adolescents who are simultaneously cherished and whose functioning is hampered by the condition.
Based on current neurobehavioral research, this book brings together perspectives drawn from the three major domains of knowledge about NLD—neurobehavioral, social, and intrapersonal. From the neurobehavioral perspective, Palombo provides a research-based phenomenological description of the NLD child's symptoms. From the social perspective, he presents the child's social context and how that contributes (in positive and negative ways) to the child's skills and deficits. From the intrapersonal perspective, he introduces the concept of mindsharing as basic to understand the development of the sense of self in children with NLD.
In Part I, readers are introduced to NLD as it presents in the clinic with a review of the etiology and symptomatology of the syndrome reflected in a case study. The author then goes on to describe the neurobehavioral profile of NLD (including its psychological and social dimensions). In Part II the social perspective and intrapersonal aspect of NLD are considered. Palombo describes the impact of the syndrome on social functioning, social communication, and emotional functioning. At the close of this part, readers find a clear articulation of the four NLD subtypes.
The intrapersonal area is addressed in Part III where Palombo presents the concept of mindsharing—i.e., the ability of one person to both know and feel what another person is experiencing. Because they lack a capacity for mindsharing, children and adolescents affected by the syndrome often fail not only a social and emotional connection with others but also experience a lack of cohesion in their own sense of self. Finally, in Part IV, Palombo presents a therapeutic approach to working with youth with NLD. Drawing together the various clinical insights from earlier in the book, these last chapters synthesize the material and highlight the most important aspects so as to best guide the treatment of children and adolescents.
Addressed to clinicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, and other psychotherapists, this book is a fund of knowledge and clinical wisdom for working with youth with NLD. It offers an overarching paradigm relevant to all professionals and parents alike as they care for effected children and adolescents.
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"Comprehensive, insightful, and practical, Joe Palombo's new book, Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, will enable mental health professionals and educators to better understand the inner life of children with learning challenges. Remarkable in its clinical scope and depth, it provides thoughtful descriptions of the different ways in which these learning challenges affect children and their families—ranging from daily learning and social interactions to the deepest feelings and sense of self." –Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., coauthor of The First Idea: How Symbols, Language and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans (with Stuart Shanker) and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, George Washington University Medical School
"Nonverbal Learning Disabilities is a well-integrated exploration of a fascinating and complex topic. A serious scholar and compassionate therapist, Palombo combines his considerable clinical experience with research from neuroscience and psychopathology to expand our understanding of learning disabilities and provide us with practical intervention strategies. Palombo rewards readers with a deep understanding of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities and clear insight into many relevant areas of research. This book educates, elucidates, and inspires further exploration." --Louis Cozolino, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University, and author of The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy
"This is a book for anyone who is interested in learning about the true nature of nonverbal learning disability. Joseph Palombo is one of the early pioneers in the study and treatment of children with this disorder. He knows and understands them as only an involved clinician can, and this expertise shows in his clear descriptions of what NLD is and how it interferes with children's attempts to make satisfactory lives for themselves. I believe that this book will become the standard in the field for those seeking to understand this debilitating disorder." –Steven Nowicki, Ph.D., Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology, Emory University, and coauthor of Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit In and Teaching Your Child the Language of Social Success
About the Author:
Joseph Palombo, M.A., is a Clinical Social Worker, the Founding Dean of the Institute for Clinical Social Work, on the staff of the Rush Neurobehavioral Center, and in private practice.