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Pia Savage
Pia Savage

Sitting At The Children's table For Life

Every year my last post is a plea that adults with NLD be treated as adults.

In January I will have been blogging for Psychology Today for three years. Somethings in life are truly amazing. This is one of them for many reasons.

In these past three years I am proud to have played a small part in helping nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) be slightly more recognized.

More kids are being diagnosed with it and that's a wonderful thing.

However few people choose to work with adults—even younger ones. There are some misguided perceptions that we are all too damaged to help.

This is one of the reasons I usually focus on the positives. My life has been great but it could have been even greater. I was open to all diagnoses, all treatments, and anything that could have explained why I made so many mistakes in my 20's, burnt out so easily in my 30's and 40's, and never reached the incredible potential so many people had predicted for me.

And you health care professionals, don't comfort yourselves with the thought that I am misguided. Don't believe that I really can't comprehend what I read but can decode better than most. Shame on any of you for even thinking that.

As I have stated too many times I was psyched to learn about NLD. I searched for help and found none.

I was invited to join a support group. Great. But this group was for teenagers.

Was I supposed to negate the many years that have passed since my teens? Was I supposed to pretend I hadn't finished undergrad and grad school? Say that my careers had never happened? That I had never been married? Had two other live in relationships?

Should I have pretended I'm a virgin who doesn't love sex? Or would I have fit the teen nympho stereotype? Or that I have no idea what alcohol tastes like nor ever tried pot?

I have had so much life experience and learned so much. Don't tell me that because I have NLD none of this matters? If I didn't love being happy and hate being depressed (and trust me it's not always easy to stay up and sometimes impossible) I would have been the bitter suicidal person the little literature on adults with NLD refers to.

Here's where I say that the literature is irresponsible not I.

Here's where I say many adults with NLD, professionals with great careers, have recently begun burning out. It could be that working in an increasingly technical world is difficult though not impossible. It could be that people are expected to constantly "multi-task" when study after study shows that nobody really can. Neurotypicals might be able to fake it better.

Here's where I say I have made my life into something wonderful. I, my amazing family, friends, supervisors, coworkers and now people on the Internet who have become beloved friends––no therapist guided me. And I so wanted help.

Here's where I say younger people can benefit from my experiences. I'm open to learning from anybody. I have learned much from Adam Moskowitz who was about fifteen when I first knew him. No I don't discount learning from youth.

But their problems aren't my problems. If they are the same problems, mine are version 10.0.

It's demeaning to be treated as a permanent teenager. I can't understand why NLD professionals don't understand that one simple fact. If these professionals don't think I'm worth helping I truly don't understand why they won't help people in their 30's or 40's. Oh too set in their ways. Too damaged.

Haven't we shown that's not true? Or are our articles rationalized away as ramblings from very unstable minds? That is bogus and in your deeper conscious you know that. Too many of us have participated in this series and have shown that we can do. And will continue doing—with or without the help of "professionals."

I have a few wishes for 2014. The one I will state publicly is that finally adult NLD be recognized and adults be truly helped. Or are we going to be relegated to the children's table forever more?

On that note I hope you have wonderful holidays. Merry Christmas, get out the Festivus Pole, Happy Kawanza and I hope ya'll have an incredible New Year!

About the Author
Pia Savage

Pia Savage is a writer, journalist, and former social worker diagnosed with Non Verbal Learning Disorder.

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