View Full Version : LD profiles? Anyone know what this is?


charonshanti
11-17-06, 07:16 AM
Does anyone know what this might be? Just looking for some pointers to look into, and any suggestions are much appreciated!

Adult male (40) has.... Something. His handwriting is terrible. Not just bad and illegible, but extremely childish. As are his drawings... a little girl asked him to draw a person the other day and I think the immaturity of the drawing even shocked her. He TRULY enjoys kid songs, kid games, cartoons... and still sometimes has the body language of an 8 year old walking the school hallway because he has to.

But his mind is not otherwise childish. He's very good at cutting thru the peripheral details to the heart of the matter, and keeping priorities in sight even if they're a bit overwhelming. He has a very mathematical mind and does math problems in his head when he's bored, makes math games of daily chores. He has an excellent memory for miscellaneous facts and dates, but not a great memory when working on a project. People tend to like and respect him (his handwriting always gives them a shock, but they get over that). But his facial expressions often do not match the intensity or emotion of what he says, so what he says is sometimes taken as offensive because his body language isn't quite right. He keeps his life simple, works off lists, right down to brushing his teeth, knows his goals but has difficulty reaching them. I would say he's got a lot of potential he's simply not tapping into, and it's not for lack of effort--it's just such hard work for him.

The geek test came up negative for aspergers. He has a lot of symptoms from add from school years but adult-self-rating scales don't indicate a high probability of ADD. So.... this is weird. So much brilliance combined with child-like behavior. Not as in childish, but---you get what I mean, hopefully.

His Dad had a severe speech impediment and never learned to read, though he was a workaholic and managed to bring home the bacon for 12 difficult children. His Mom is almost certainly ADD, very bright but did not work up to her potential and had poor impulse control.

Any suggestions very welcome.... I'd love to see this hard-working guy get a break so he can get more good from all his hard work.

speedo
11-17-06, 06:26 PM
The geek test is not very diagnostic. In any case it sounds like something is going on. Maybe he should talk to his doctor. It does sound a little like something in the autism spectrum or some kind of nonverbal learning disorder.

ME :D

charonshanti
11-17-06, 06:49 PM
Yeah, but what kind of doctor?

The GP just asked about stress in his life and gave him sleeping pills--no help at all. So we're fresh out of gp's and haven't found a decent replacement yet.

Does anyone have any opinions on going straight to a learning disability center based on just the handwriting? Does childish and illegible handwriting qualify as dysgraphia?

Can't imagine where a psych would start, given what I posted (yes, I'm going to ask). But I have a feeling he won't go unless I find something that he sees himself in. He's doing ok, but.... something's hard on him. And since discovering ADD has been such a relief for me, I'd like to do the same for him if there is anything going on.

And if anyone feels this stuff is perfectly normal, please speak up. Since I got an ADD diagnosis I'm suddenly seeing abnormalities in people all around me. But this particular one, well, I've kinda wondered for years if something was going on.

Speedo, thx for the suggestions, I've looked at autism & aspergers and they're kind of in the 'yeah, kinda, I guess it could be, but...' category. I've been reading about learning disabiltites but they seem kind of nebulous compared to ADD for example. I'll do a search specifically on 'non-verbal learning disorder*'. Why specifically 'non-verbal'? Is that tied to body language?

speedo
11-17-06, 08:17 PM
K' find a neuropsychologist, or a neurologist who does neuropsychology. Tell them that something is going on, and you would like a full neuropsych evaluation... I say this so many times... It is not a cure-all, but it is a very good way to get a general idea of a person's condition.

ME :D

speedo
11-17-06, 08:23 PM
Here is how it often goes.. If a person is clearly a little autistic, but too mild to call it autism or asperger's syndrome, it is then called Pervasive developmental disorder N.O.S. ... sometimes PDD will be referred to as "atypical autism". In very, very mild cases people sometimes get the label of "nonverbal learning disorder" instead of PDD.. But, nonverbal learning disorder is so vague and nonspecific that mild forms of a number of disorders sort of get lumped into that diagnosis...It is almost like saying "We don't wknow what it is"....

It's not just the degree of the disorder, but it is the traits expressed by the individual. Lastly, some people just have a few autistic traits, but aren't really autistic at all.... It's just normal for them.

Maybe just calling it "mild autistic spectrum disorder" and letting it go at that would suffice, but I guess that is too straightforward.


ME :D

Yeah, but what kind of doctor?

The GP just asked about stress in his life and gave him sleeping pills--no help at all. So we're fresh out of gp's and haven't found a decent replacement yet.

Does anyone have any opinions on going straight to a learning disability center based on just the handwriting? Does childish and illegible handwriting qualify as dysgraphia?

Can't imagine where a psych would start, given what I posted (yes, I'm going to ask). But I have a feeling he won't go unless I find something that he sees himself in. He's doing ok, but.... something's hard on him. And since discovering ADD has been such a relief for me, I'd like to do the same for him if there is anything going on.

And if anyone feels this stuff is perfectly normal, please speak up. Since I got an ADD diagnosis I'm suddenly seeing abnormalities in people all around me. But this particular one, well, I've kinda wondered for years if something was going on.

Speedo, thx for the suggestions, I've looked at autism & aspergers and they're kind of in the 'yeah, kinda, I guess it could be, but...' category. I've been reading about learning disabiltites but they seem kind of nebulous compared to ADD for example. I'll do a search specifically on 'non-verbal learning disorder*'. Why specifically 'non-verbal'? Is that tied to body language?

charonshanti
11-19-06, 02:45 AM
K' find a neuropsychologist, or a neurologist who does neuropsychology. Tell them that something is going on, and you would like a full neuropsych evaluation... I say this so many times... It is not a cure-all, but it is a very good way to get a general idea of a person's condition.

ME :D
Thanks for the explanations, Speedo. Most helpful.

Maybe it's just where I live, but neuropsychs seem rare around here. All the neuropsych's I've run across seemed to be affiliated with specific fields. Children's ADD & autism spectrum, ADD adult (that's the one I'll be heading to), specific degenerative diseases.

I had to postpone the neuropsych testing for my self til next year (financial reasons). I did find a psych that dx'ed the ADD, so I have skills and meds to work with til then. But I'm so interested in what the neuropsych would be able to tell me about my specific skills and weaknesses. It's the type of testing that makes the most sense to me.

speedo
11-19-06, 10:49 AM
I found neuropsych testing to be really fascinating. The information it produces is a lot and it helped remove all doubt about my diagnosis. The information it provided has also helped me to learn to understand my condition a lot better.

The down side is that it is expensive and the high cost makes it unavailable to many people. I find that unfortunate as I do not see a single reason why it has to be so expensive. Of course it is still cheaper and faster than going through a lenghty qualitative diagnositc process with a psychiatrist.

Ideally, you show up at your psychiatrist on the first visit with a neuropsych eval report in-hand so that your psych has good info to start with. I think it leads to better choices and you are less likely to end up on the medication merry-go-round because the doctor does not have to resort to so much guesswork and experimentation.


ME :D

charonshanti
11-19-06, 04:17 PM
. I find that unfortunate as I do not see a single reason why it has to be so expensive. Of course it is still cheaper and faster than going through a lenghty qualitative diagnositc process with a psychiatrist.
ME :D
So true.

It was actually the travel and lost work cost that determined that I had to go the local psych route first, especially since the neuropsych wouldn't monitor meds long term and I'd have to find a local psych anyway.

I was fortunate. CHADD referred me to a good psych and it took one visit to confirm ADD & rule out some common co-morbids. But there's still a chance that this route will eventually cost more than just going to the neuropsych to start with, especially if there are still unrecognized conditions.

QueensU_girl
11-19-06, 11:50 PM
Guesses?

-NVLD? (people can seem 'socially weird' with that)
-Corpus Callosum disorder? (can be mistaken for Aspergers)
-Developmental Stress? Like institutionalization, attachment (bonding) disorder, Childhood neglect, stressors or trauma? (these factors can lead people to become developmentally stuck, and "childlike", as you describe)
-Genetic disorder?
-head injury?
-Many other possibilities...

I'm sure there needs to be a lot more history taken, medical tests, genetic testing, and brain studies to come to any sort of conclusion about this case.

charonshanti
11-20-06, 01:13 AM
Thanks, hitting pay dirt here. Looked up the suggestions so far, none of them seem 'spot on' but definitely dancing very closely around it. I think I've got enough to suggest a visit to a neuropsych as soon as possible.

Would the same apply in all of these as in ADD--that very high intelligence might help a person compensate enough to make the condition less obvious?

Speedo...

How did you find your neuropsych? Referral, phone book, ...? Would one have to be associated with a hospital or university to have the right equipment for testing, or is it less technological than I'm imagining? (Course you don't know what I'm imagining, but you get the gist...)

Just as a postscript, part of my challenge is to show that for possible disorders there is treatment or assistance that could materially improve the life of someone who is basically coping already. Some conditions come with 'treatment' that seems worse than the disability, unless the disability is too severe to allow any kind of normal life. In other words, why test for a condition for which there's no way you'd accept the standard treatment? Well, my answer is that knowledge is power... but I doubt that would carry enough weight on its own.

speedo
11-20-06, 04:31 AM
I was having a hard time finding anyone who could dx or treat adult adhd in this area (Metro DC). A friend referrred me to an MD who was very good at treating adhd, and he referred me to a neuropsychologist who specialized in ADHD (who was also very good). In fact the doc who evaluated me also had ADHD. :)

Yes, people DO compensate for thewir disorder by using intelligence. In fact it is sort of a problem, because some people who have things like ADHD, bipolar, even aspergers syndrome, pass as "normal" for most of their lives because they use their IQ to develop coping strategies. These people would do even better if they had treatment for their condition, but all too often people with serious disorders are overlooked because they have a high IQ.

The old addage of "no impairment no disorder" does apply. If a person is happy and functions well in life I don't see a reason to call it disorder.

If there are problems, then it ought to be followed up on. The description of your friend strikes me as being "really different", but I don't know that being a "different" individual warrants the label of disorder. If things are not going so well for him I guess it warrants a closer look, but he has to make the choice.

Typically neuropsychologists come as specialists... the one I found specialized in attention and learning disorders.
My guess is they your friend needs to find a similar neuropsychologist.

ME :D

speedo
11-20-06, 04:45 AM
Oh.. one other possibility is schizoaffective disorder.

Me :D

charonshanti
11-22-06, 05:43 AM
Progress... after he had gone on a bit of a rant about my mom's add and how she wouldn't acknowledge reality or do anything about her add for so many years:rolleyes: ... I asked him if he ever felt like maybe he was dealing with something that was making his life much harder than it had to be, and (to my surprise) he said absolutely yes, listed a few of the same things I posted earlier, but said he'd tried everything he could to deal with the handwriting, and that was the best he could do. I asked him why he hadn't considered neuropsych testing and it seems mabye a little lightbulb went on....

He's not ready to go the neuropsych route yet but he's now open to any internet profile/ learning disability tests or descriptions. Thanks for all your links thruout the forum, Speed. We'll be using them the next few weeks to see where it all takes him. But unless some syndrome just 'fits' right off the rack and be dealt with thru a less specialized doctor, I have a feeling we'll be making back-to-back neuropsych appts next year....

One of the weirdest side incidents about his mind is that we were once watching a movie that panned by one of those day-at-a-glance calendars, and a couple of seconds later he said "Wait! That's wrong! July 7th would have fallen on Thursday that year, not Monday! (As pictured in the calendar.) He had no idea how he knew that or why it grabbed him as so wrong, but... when he looked it up, it was right.

He still does a lot of things(glugging down a water bottle, for instance) the same way he did when he was 6 (that's why I thought aspergers) but once pointed out he drops that way of doing things and starts copying other adults' ways of doing it. He'll be comfortable and unmoving and the next second he's broken into frenetic action to do something small---and then he's back relaxed again. As if everything has to be done in the smallest increment of time possible. Doesn't strike him as weird at all, but it keeps the rest of us startled or in stitches....

Thanks for all the suggestions. If you think of any more, I'll be checking back frequently :)

meadd823
11-24-06, 03:02 AM
and again you may be seeing more than one condition. . . I am dyslexic and my hand writing sucks unless I am doing calligraphy which I do amazingly well with. . my writing if I have to do it with out a spell checker would also be seen as child like because I can't spell worth a poo. . . things written under the pressure of time would probably be a bit disconnected also. . .unless I was on medications. . . I have dyslexia that affects my reading, writing, and ability to see angles however I do math in my head . . I learned I can feel angles with my hands even through I can not see them visually . . . .a diagnostician wouldn’t be able to help speedo? That was the title of most of the folks who did my testing. . . . with LD there is going to be huge gaps in ability between “some things” In his case it would be verbal expression and mathematical expression. . . . in my case it was a huge gap between my written expression and comprehension. . . the areas in which the gaps exist are one of the ways that assist in determining the individuals particular condition.

charonshanti
11-30-06, 07:12 PM
Ok. Schizoaffective is out, no mood disorders. Corpus Callosum disorders are out.

NVLD & Asperger's seem really similar. The descriptions I'm finding of aspergers vary wildly from site to site, hitting about 60-70% match on some sites and on others no similarity whatever! Is Asperger's just really poorly defined, or what?

AQ test score: 30. I realize that isn't diagnostic, but it's toward the Autism score of 32. Is there any treatment for Asperger's if it's diagnosed?

Perfect match on dysgraphia. So far so good. Thanks for the help, guys.

charonshanti
12-01-06, 01:09 AM
Ok, Speedo, just wanted to let you know your previous posts re: aspergers were some of the best info we found. Still don't understand why the asperger's descriptions vary so much from site to site, but they do--so your posts provided much needed clarification.

So final consensus: dysgraphia, plus asperger's or extremely like. Not a professional Dx, but a good place to start. :rolleyes: I think the aspie-quiz at rdos.net sealed it, it was one of those "looking in the mirror and seeing yourself" events, especially the second part of the test after the screening. I'm still thinking there has to be some ADD in the mix, but if it's there it's secondary.

Anyhow, Speed, just wanted you to know that I always appreciate your posts, but this time they were especially valuable. Thanks!

speedo
12-01-06, 02:24 AM
Thanks for the flowers. When I was researching my sensory issues I came acros tons of info on asperger's syndrome.
It's actually hard to do internet research on ADHD symptoms withour running into a lot of info on autism spectrum disorders.

There are more quizes you can take... like the aspie 101 quiz, or the geek test, but they really don't men a lot diagnostically.

The best thing to do is to take your suspicions to a doctor. If he is in fact in the autism spectrum, your friend is very likelt to be diagnosed with other things first, and over time be given the autism dx.

To get the AS dx as an adult is unusual as doctors sort of expect you to have compelling symptoms and be diagnosed by an early age... like 5 or so... so a lot of adults with mild AS sort of get swept under the rug diagnostically because they seem so normal. It can take years to sort out.

I've recently read an account of a 50+ year old man who was diagnosed with AS after being misdiagnosed with various personality disorders for tens of years. It can happen like that.

AS is not really treatable. It is neurological, and is simply a matter of the way your brain is wired. Think of it as a cognitive style. It never goes away and yo usort of have to work around the problems as best you can... and some people do, and do so very well.

The comorbidities are readily treatable... the depression, the anxiety and the ADHD,(if present) are all quite treatable. Your friend is probably getting to an age where he may be happy with himself but he might feel otherwise... in any case a person can be tought cognitive skills to cope with sensory issues and it does help.

In any case tell your friend to not be shy and to get to a doctor. If he has trouble communicatiing his problems, go with him and be his advocate. He could probably use a friend.

ME :D

~boots~
12-01-06, 02:35 AM
Does anyone know what this might be? Just looking for some pointers to look into, and any suggestions are much appreciated!

Adult male (40) has.... Something. His handwriting is terrible. Not just bad and illegible, but extremely childish. As are his drawings... a little girl asked him to draw a person the other day and I think the immaturity of the drawing even shocked her. He TRULY enjoys kid songs, kid games, cartoons... and still sometimes has the body language of an 8 year old walking the school hallway because he has to.

But his mind is not otherwise childish. He's very good at cutting thru the peripheral details to the heart of the matter, and keeping priorities in sight even if they're a bit overwhelming. He has a very mathematical mind and does math problems in his head when he's bored, makes math games of daily chores. He has an excellent memory for miscellaneous facts and dates, but not a great memory when working on a project. People tend to like and respect him (his handwriting always gives them a shock, but they get over that). But his facial expressions often do not match the intensity or emotion of what he says, so what he says is sometimes taken as offensive because his body language isn't quite right. He keeps his life simple, works off lists, right down to brushing his teeth, knows his goals but has difficulty reaching them. I would say he's got a lot of potential he's simply not tapping into, and it's not for lack of effort--it's just such hard work for him.

The geek test came up negative for aspergers. He has a lot of symptoms from add from school years but adult-self-rating scales don't indicate a high probability of ADD. So.... this is weird. So much brilliance combined with child-like behavior. Not as in childish, but---you get what I mean, hopefully.

His Dad had a severe speech impediment and never learned to read, though he was a workaholic and managed to bring home the bacon for 12 difficult children. His Mom is almost certainly ADD, very bright but did not work up to her potential and had poor impulse control.

Any suggestions very welcome.... I'd love to see this hard-working guy get a break so he can get more good from all his hard work.shheezzz....that sounds exactly like ME!!!

I just blame the ADD but I also think I have some sort of learning disability

~boots~
12-01-06, 02:45 AM
DYSGRAPHIA

"Dysgraphia" is a learning disability resulting from the difficulty in expressing thoughts in writing and graphing. It generally refers to extremely poor handwriting.

Each State has its own criteria which determine if a student has a learning disability as it is defined by special education guidelines. When a student's writing or graphing difficulties are severe enough to meet these criteria, special education services are indicated. Problems arise because "dysgraphia" has no clearly defined criteria. A student with any degree of handwriting difficulty may be labeled "dysgraphic" by some educational specialists, but may or may not need special education services.

Most learning disabled students experience difficulty with handwriting and probably could be considered "dysgraphic". However, the term is seldom used within public schools because of the lack of any generally recognized or measurable criteria.

Underlying Causes

Students with dysgraphia often have sequencing problems. Studies indicate that what usually appears to be a perceptual problem (reversing letters/numbers, writing words backwards, writing letters out of order, and very sloppy handwriting) usually seems to be directly related to sequential/rational information processing. These students often have difficulty with the sequence of letters and words as they write. As a result, the student either needs to slow down in order to write accurately, or experiences extreme difficulty with the "mechanics" of writing (spelling, punctuation, etc.). They also tend to intermix letters and numbers in formulas. Usually they have difficulty even when they do their work more slowly. And by slowing down or getting "stuck" with the details of writing they often lose the thoughts that they are trying to write about.

Students with an attention deficit disorder (especially with hyperactivity) often experience rather significant difficulty with writing and formulas in general and handwriting in particular. This is because ADHD students also have difficulty organizing and sequencing detailed information. In addition, ADHD students are often processing information at a very rapid rate and simply don't have the fine-motor coordination needed to "keep up" with their thoughts.

Some students can also experience writing difficulty because of a general auditory or language processing weakness. Because of their difficulty learning and understanding language in general, they obviously have difficulty with language expression. Recall that written language is the most difficult form of language expression.

Although most students with dysgraphia do not have visual or perceptual processing problems, some students with a visual processing weakness will experience difficulty with writing speed and clarity simply because they aren't able to fully process the visual information as they are placing it on the page.



OMG!! I have NEVER heard of that....that is ME too...
Thanks for the thread..I'll print out the helpful info and have a read
oh, and good luck to your friend

charonshanti
12-01-06, 02:05 PM
AS is not really treatable. It is neurological, and is simply a matter of the way your brain is wired. Think of it as a cognitive style. It never goes away and yo usort of have to work around the problems as best you can... and some people do, and do so very well.
Thanks. I think the knowledge of the stims is probably going to be really helpful. He sings a lot and most people think that means happy-go-lucky guy (great voice, great sense of humor) so no one thinks 'odd'. Can't see any co-morbids yet except ADD & dysgraphia, but I think there's a neuropsych visit on the horizon, just for his own curiosity.

charonshanti
12-01-06, 03:08 PM
Oh, and Tracy--there's more than one kind of dysgraphia, one's motor, one's dyslexic type, the other is... something else.:) How's that for an ADD moment?

~boots~
12-04-06, 01:05 AM
Oh, and Tracy--there's more than one kind of dysgraphia, one's motor, one's dyslexic type, the other is... something else.:) How's that for an ADD moment?LOL
I have been thinking I will not edit any posts here for a while...that way I may have an idea of how my brain works :eek:
no-one will have a clue what I am on about though, that's the only trouble:p

charonshanti
12-04-06, 01:41 AM
:D Know whatcha mean.

meadd823
12-08-06, 06:50 AM
LOL
I have been thinking I will not edit any posts here for a while...that way I may have an idea of how my brain works
no-one will have a clue what I am on about though, that's the only trouble


Don't bet the farm on that! Not only do I write out of sequencing and spell badly I can also read the writing of others who also share this problem. I even once asked some where on here if dyslexics could write in their native language in this sub-forum-LOL! If one spells badly enough it can become almost like another language. . . Gary my partner a good speller has a hard time with any thing I write by hand (minus a spell checker or two I normally use when posting) because I mis-spell every other word and some times I even mis-spell the same word several different ways in the same paper.

speedo
12-08-06, 08:50 AM
Singing is hardly diagnostic. What you are looking at with AS is a fundamental need for environmental sameness and some degree of disconnect from other people. It varies a lot from person to person, but we are definitely talking about a "play-by-the-rules" and "one-track-mind" kind of person.

(and I did not edit this post, not even once!)
ME :D



Thanks. I think the knowledge of the stims is probably going to be really helpful. He sings a lot and most people think that means happy-go-lucky guy (great voice, great sense of humor) so no one thinks 'odd'. Can't see any co-morbids yet except ADD & dysgraphia, but I think there's a neuropsych visit on the horizon, just for his own curiosity.

charonshanti
12-08-06, 07:58 PM
Wow. I've gotten really well acquainted with the DSM-IV this last week. Fascinating stuff.

How come a diagnosis of Autism rules out a diagnosis of AD/HD, but a diagnosis of Asperger's doesn't?

speedo
12-08-06, 08:20 PM
I don't know why a dx of autism would rule out a secondary dx of adhd. Lots of people with autism spectrum disorders have adhd, the last time I checked.. :)


ME :D