NLD and Asperger’s are two kinds of diseases that have many similarities. Both of them are related to the verbal and communication abilities of children.
They are considered to be the same thing because of this. However, each of these diseases is characterized by specific symptoms that differ from each other.
- NLD (Nonverbal Learning Disability) affects the ability to interpret nonverbal cues, whereas Asperger’s Syndrome is a high-functioning form of autism.
- Individuals with NLD struggle with spatial and motor skills, while those with Asperger’s struggle with social interactions.
- Both NLD and Asperger’s Syndrome may exhibit strong verbal abilities and average to above-average intelligence.
NLD vs Asperger’s Syndrome
The difference between NLD and Asperger’s syndrome is that NLD is an acronym for ‘Non-verbal Learning Disorder,’ which causes a child to have difficulty in exhibiting complex motor and social skills. However, there is no effect on verbal skills. On the other hand, Asperger’s syndrome is an old discovery now termed ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder.’ It involves repetitive behaviors, difficulties in social interaction, and poor verbal skills in children.
NLD is essentially a neurological disorder. It affects children at a young age and can be characterized by poor motor, social, organizational, and even visual skills.
The problem arises when tasks become too complex or difficult. However, the disorder does not affect the child’s verbal abilities in any way.
On the other hand, Asperger’s syndrome is an old discovery that has now been termed as a severe case of Autism Spectrum disorder.
It affects a child’s social, motor, organizational, and intellectual abilities. Unlike NLD, Asperger’s syndrome affects the patient’s verbal and communication abilities.
|Parameters of Comparison
|It was discovered in 1967.
|It was discovered in 1944.
|It is an acronym for Non-verbal Learning Disorder that affects children.
|It is an old discovery that is now termed Autism Spectrum disorder in children.
|It is a learning disability that involves poor motor, social, organizational, and visual skills.
|It is a severe case of Autism in which the child has poor intellectual, motor, and social skills.
|It does not affect the verbal skills of the child.
|It affects the verbal and communication skills of a child.
|It is caused by misbalanced neurological activity in the right hemisphere of the brain.
|Its causes are not yet identified correctly.
|It has never been classified on the DSM-5.
|It was removed from DSM-5 in 2013, and replaced by Autism Spectrum disorder.
What is NLD?
NLD is an acronym for a non-verbal learning disorder. It was discovered in 1967 and is also commonly known as a visual-spatial learning disorder. Poor neurological abilities in a child characterize it.
This includes poor motor, social, organizational, and visual skills. However, an important thing to be noted is that NLD does not affect the verbal and communication skills of the patient in any way.
The disorder is caused when there is a misbalance of neurological activity in the brain’s right hemisphere. When such a situation occurs, the child starts having difficulties in understanding complex concepts and ideas.
This includes complex math problems and even lengthy writings that need to be memorized. In the initial stages, the child has poor hand-eye coordination and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
There is no known cure for the disease. Discoveries are yet to be made to solve the core of this problem. However, patients are given therapy and medications t help with the symptoms.
Interestingly, NLD has never been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This is a taxonomic tool that helps doctors diagnose several disorders.
Many doctors argue that it has symptoms specific enough to be classified as a category.
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s syndrome is somewhat similar to NLD. However, certain characteristics and symptoms make it different. Firstly, Asperger’s syndrome was first discovered in 1944 by Hans Asperger, an Austrian physician.
It was included in the DSM-4 but was removed from the DSM-5 and replaced by Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The disorder causes children to have poor motor, social, organizational, and intellectual skills. While NLD does not affect verbal and communication skills, Asperger’s syndrome does.
A child diagnosed with this disorder finds it difficult to take part in social interactions. He stereotypes various things and shows repetitive behaviors. His perspective is very narrow, and his body is very clumsy.
However, like NLD, there is no cure for Asperger’s syndrome. Even the causes of the disorder are not yet identified. Several doctors suggest that there may be a genetic link that leads to the disorder.
However, there has been no strong evidence supporting this case.
Regardless, the symptoms exhibited by the patient are treated with the help of therapy and medications. This includes behavioral therapies and medication for co-existing symptoms or disorders like depression and ADHD.
Specific speech therapies are also given to the child to help him cope and perform better in social interactions.
Main Differences Between NLD and Asperger’s Syndrome
- NLD was discovered in 1967, whereas Asperger’s syndrome was discovered in 1944.
- NLD is an acronym for Non-verbal Learning Disorder that affects children, whereas Asperger’s syndrome is an old discovery now termed Autism Spectrum disorder in children.
- NLD is a learning disability that involves poor motor, social, organizational, and visual skills, whereas it is a severe case of Autism in which the child has poor intellectual, motor, and social skills.
- NLD does not affect the child’s verbal skills, whereas Asperger’s syndrome affects a child’s verbal and communication skills.
- NLD is caused by misbalanced neurological activity in the brain’s right hemisphere, whereas Asperger’s syndrome’s causes are not yet identified correctly.
- NLD has never been classified on the DSM-5, whereas Asperger’s syndrome was removed from DSM-5 in 2013 and replaced by Autism Spectrum disorder.
Last Updated : 25 June, 2023
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.