It is known that nonverbal learning disabilities involve the performance processes (generally thought of neurologically as originating in the right cerebral hemisphere of the brain, which specializes in nonverbal processing).
Brain scans of individuals with NLD often confirm mild abnormalities of the right cerebral hemisphere.
Developmental histories have revealed that a number of the children suffering from nonverbal learning disorders who have come to clinical attention have at some time early in their development: (1) sustained a moderate to severe head injury, (2) received repeated radiation treatments on or near their heads over a prolonged period of time, (3) congenital absence of the corpus callosum, (4) been treated for hydrocephalus, or (5) actually had brain tissue removed from their right hemisphere.
Even though NLD is, by definition, a "low incidence disability," there are indications that, as school assessment/intervention procedures improve, a higher proportion of children will be identified with the NLD syndrome.
The NLD syndrome reveals itself in impaired abilities to organize the visual-spatial field, adapt to new or novel situations, and/or accurately read nonverbal signals and cues. Although academic progress is made, such a student will have difficulty "producing" in situations where speed and adaptability are required.
Whereas language-based learning disorders have been shown to be genetic in origin, heredity has not, as yet, been linked to NLD.
There is no question that most scholastic accomplishments are measured and defined through language-based communication.
Although intelligence measures are designed to evaluate both the verbal and nonverbal aspects of intelligence, educators tend to ignore evidence of nonverbal deficiencies in students.
The competence of an individual, in our present-day society, is most often judged by their verbal proficiencies.