Category Archives: nld

NLD and cheating like crazy!

When I was in school, I’d cheat like crazy. Like, every single test? Mad cheating.

Not the type of cheating like you’d see in common use, like copying from someone else’s paper or stealing the SCANTRON database. I’d cheat using the test itself.

I speedread and skim extremely, extremely quickly. If a test was open book, I’d have a question like… “What’s the definition of a butte?” and I’d scan the text of the book for buttes and write about plateaus or whatever. Most of the questions in worksheets were like that, so I never had to keep anything in my head for more than a minute.

On multiple choice questions without the book, I have to use a different method of analysis. I think teachers are wiser to it now, but there used to be tons of tells for questions. When there are four answers to a multiple choice question, the four answers tend to follow a pattern. There are two that are confusingly similar, one that’s right (if you don’t understand the question) that’s similar to one of the two, and a fourth that’s just a wacky horribly wrong answer meant to pick out the kids who’re just marking things. So in the case of algebra, you can test the two similar ones and bust through a test in no time, and in other cases you could use the similar ones to cheat and split it from a 25% chance to a 50% chance, and then I’d use what little I absorbed in class to figure it out. In other subjects, things were slightly less obvious but still pretty easily guessed.

I set the curve on most of the tests I took in high school. I was never there, and I never bothered with the book. I just absorbed a bit and used the test taking tricks I’d made to get through them all.

I still use the skimming thing when I’m trying to code or working on anything. I don’t absorb knowledge well at all but I can temporarily hold it.

I don’t know what could be done to better teach NLD kids. It’s something I’ll be pondering for a while.

NLD/NVLD and what it means to me

I’ve had issues for a long, long time.

There’s one as a kid I’m not going into, but..

I’ve never had much of an imagination at all, and I’ve learned to compensate by using wild logic leaps. When I had legos as a kid, I’d always either build a sword (because holy crap, swords are rad to a nerd kid) or a giant block. I’d make… bigger legos out of my legos. I’m not sure if that was a bad thing or not, really.

I dodged the bullet on the NLD problem of not getting sarcasm pretty well. I lived in a turbulent house with a jester of a dad and an unstable mom, and the two didn’t get along and I’d usually be caught in the middle of it. I had to learn to deal with all the wordplay and anger and learn when it was my fault/my sister’s fault versus when something was just wrong in general. I’ve been blessed.. er. Sort of blessed with a bunch of wordplay and punnery, which I’ve been swung at by my friends over. :v

I’ve got the cocktail party speech thing in spades. Like, I used to be on IRC a lot and I’d ramble and it got to the point in one channel where someone would paste “N O O N E C A R E S A R C A N E” every time I’d start on a subject. I’m not good at discerning what an audience or friend wants to talk about, so I tend to just shotgun things at people. Most of the time, that’s not really a bad thing, but it can be a terrible one with people I barely know, or if the topic gets on something they don’t like. One of the reasons I’ve started this is for an outlet on the subject.

I’ve got this weird feeling in the right side of my head all the time, and I tend towards the right a bit. I tilt my head kind of at an odd angle, drink at a slant if I’m doing it without thinking about it, and I just feel like the right side of my body’s off in a way. The left side’s just less real feeling to me, if that makes any sense.

I can’t really draw, because I have huge amounts of trouble dealing with spatial awareness and sizes.

I have a lot of trouble focusing on multiple things. Harvest Moon on SNES was a game I used to play, and I’d seriously just cheat my money up and sleep repeatedly until the events I wanted to see happened; I almost never did the actual farming. That was one early sign I noticed that something was kind of off, but I was just assuming it was related to me being seen as generally a lazy person.

I’m very easily overwhelmed, and tend to retreat or deflect anything that makes me nervous like that. I’m really good at talking my way out of things, including to myself.

As an upside, I think NLD/NVLD is the reason that I’m so good at certain games. In fighting games, I tend to focus on the sound of the game running instead of the actual timing, and that makes me good at awareness and comboing in games. The downside is that I can’t focus on learning the combos, so I tend to just do a weird mix of mindgaming and small basic combos to handle them. :v I’d never win in tournaments, but I’m good at everything I’ve played.

In rhythm games, it’s not always an advantage. If I can’t discern the pattern of when they’re matching the game to the music. I cannot do a thing, like Canned Heat in Elite Beat Agents. In Rock Band, my hands are so clumsy and off that it feels like I’m fighting an uphill battle, and it takes me effort to get used to playing the game. When I do, I can usually play on Expert with friends, at least.

I read something about how NLD means you have trouble using the motor center, and I’m theorizing at this point that I might just be relying on a weird version of muscle memory to handle movements. It explains how I have great balance when drunk, how I can duplicate my movements relatively easy on a controller, and how I’m pretty clumsy, but it’s just a theory.

I have extremely good memory where it comes to music, but that’s not very useful. It’s more the instrumentals than the lyrics.

NVLD isn’t an awful thing for me to have, but it’s something I’m going to have to get used to. I want to find out what all advantages it gives me and write about them, and give other people with this help.

School and NLD

I guess I’ll use this first post to talk about school and NLD and such.

In early school, I was seen as like, some sort of crazy genius. I had no social skills at all, but I was reading at a high college level. Apparently, this didn’t trip any flags for anyone in any counseling or teaching position. I couldn’t tie my shoes or ride a bike until fifth grade! I was typing at 100+wpm in elementary, yet I couldn’t write legibly with a penc

When I hit first grade, they noticed i was ahead in an area, and pushed me ahead to second. I breezed through that, did pretty well as I remember, and then they held me back when I moved. I don’t know if that triggered something like feeling cheated, but after that I stopped caring about school aside from computer work.

By fifth grade, I was barely going, not doing any homework, and lashing out at everyone around me. In sixth, I had no friends besides a girl I’ll mention in a bit and her little group.

Sixth is when I started seeing the counselors and all. None of them thought anything was wrong enough to say anything besides me acting troublesome, including one of them going out and telling people who were mocking me that I had mental issues, which I’m reasonably sure was a dick move.

I got shunted to a different school with an entirely different group of kids in seventh and eighth, and for some reason that got rid of all the stress and I was a mellow social type during those years. I had awful grades outside of exams and computer stuff, but I had friends, at least.

In ninth, I was put back with the old crowd, and all that fear came back. I stopped taking care of myself, stopped socializing, and stopped going most of the time. Somehow I dated that girl previously mentioned for a few months, but that ended terribly, leading to me being put into therapy. The therapist never connected the dots and somehow got ADD out of it all. She got replaced at the doctor’s office soon after, and I got off adderall and was put on Zoloft.

In tenth, I tried dating and going again, and eventually got off the zoloft because it was making me a terrible emotionless robot most of the time. I ended up on effexor, and ended up dropping out over the second breakup. I went to a remedial school, but that didn’t last long. I quit the effexor cold turkey because my health insurance ran out and dealt with brain shocks for months, and was scared out of trusting that sort of medicine.

For the next 8 years, I coasted. I got my GED as fast as was physically possible, then just sunk into this awful slump, assuming it was depression and anxiety. I’ll talk about my ways of dealing with that in another post.

The ways I dealt with it kind of dried up for a bit and I went a bit crazy, and ended up finding a psychiatrist in town and relating the above tale plus a bit more. Apparently I’m the poster child of NLD, and if it’d been caught, things would have been much better. I’m on prozac and adderall now. Ironically, if it hadn’t been for how adderall effects younger people differently, it probably would’ve done pretty well for me back when I was originally on it.

I’m still trying to learn to deal with it. The cocktail party speech thing mentioned on nldontheweb’s the worst symptom I have, followed by how I can’t learn anything. 😐 I can tinker with things and they’ll usually work, but knowledge doesn’t stick around long.

I wish someone had caught this earlier, and I wish there was more awareness of this. I need ideas on raising awareness.