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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @03:58PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Nonverbal learning disability (NVLD), a poorly understood and often-overlooked disorder that causes problems with visual-spatial processing, may affect nearly 3 million children in the United States, making it one of the most common learning disorders, according to a new study by led by Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

The study, the first to estimate the prevalence of NVLD in the general population, was published online today in JAMA Network Open.

"NVLD is a huge and hidden public health burden," said Jeffrey Lieberman, Chair of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. "This important work might never have come to light if not for the support of dedicated advocate and their philanthropic support. We hope that these findings raise awareness of the disorder and lead to an understanding of its neurobiology and better treatments."

The name of this neurodevelopmental disorder may be part of the problem: children with NVLD are not nonverbal, as the name suggests, and have no difficulty reading. Instead, children with NVLD have difficulty processing visual-spatial sensory information, which can cause problems with math, executive function, and fine motor and social skills. "Children with this disorder might shy away from doing jigsaw puzzles or playing with Legos," says lead author Amy E. Margolis, PhD, assistant professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. "They may have trouble tying their shoes, using scissors, or learning routes or schedules."

NVLD was first described in 1967, but compared with other learning disorders it has received little attention. There's little consensus among physicians on how to diagnose the disorder, and it is not included in the current edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The cause of NVLD is not known and there are no treatments.

Few parents have heard of NVLD. "Most parents recognize that a child who isn't talking by age two should be evaluated for a learning disorder. But no one thinks twice about kids who have problems with visual-spatial tasks," says Margolis.

[...] Margolis advises parents to seek evaluation for children with symptoms of NVLD. "Diagnosis can be accomplished using basic assessment tools," says Margolis. "It doesn't have to involve complex and costly neuropsychological testing. We envision that all clinicians who use DSM5 will be able to use our new criteria to determine who may meet criteria. They can then send patients for basic psychological testing that is always available through schools to identify/quantify a problem with visual-spatial processing."

-- submitted from IRC

Journal Reference:
Amy E. Margolis, Jessica Broitman, John M. Davis, Lindsay Alexander, Ava Hamilton, Zhijie Liao, Sarah Banker, Lauren Thomas, Bruce Ramphal, Giovanni A. Salum, Kathleen Merikangas, Jeff Goldsmith, Tomas Paus, Katherine Keyes, Michael P. Milham. Estimated Prevalence of Nonverbal Learning Disability Among North American Children and Adolescents. JAMA Network Open, 2020; 3 (4): e202551 DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.2551


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday April 29 2020, @04:27PM (18 children)

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @04:27PM (#988230)

    My guess is this will end up being a spectrum disease.

    This specific article focuses on Kindergarten skills. I googled a bit and it seems to be a general processing problem not a 5 year old problem.

    I remember from CS classes a long time ago that the kids who flunked out first semester just couldn't do patterns. I don't mean trendy or complicated "learn 99 design patterns in 24 hours heads up" but I mean the really simple patterns like nested loops or "do-while" vs "for" loops and stuff like that. Some folks just can't "do" nested loops, which was a weird realization to me because I can.

    With respect to visual spatial processing I saw something similar in CAD drafting classes, there's kids who take to projections and 3-d like fish to water, and there's kids who just can't draft a sketch of a cube to save their lives.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Booga1 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:21PM (9 children)

      by Booga1 (6333) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:21PM (#988249)

      ... there's kids who take to projections and 3-d like fish to water, and there's kids who just can't draft a sketch of a cube to save their lives.

      Indeed. I have a friend who might have something like this. He's decent at following logic, math, maps, and drives a commercial truck for a living. Backing that big thing into loading docks isn't tough at all for him. He handles with anything that has a concrete set of instructions or rules just fine.
      However, anything that's abstract and requires judgement of spatial problem solving that he hasn't encountered before gives him serious trouble. For example, I saw him doing laundry and the washer got off balance in the spin cycle. He would just stop the machine and re-run the rinse and spin cycle hoping it would balance out. I asked why he didn't just balance it himself, and said he couldn't figure it out. That kind of basic lack of trouble shooting ability just floored me.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:33PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:33PM (#988322)

        Not nice to talk about Runaway like that.

        • (Score: 2) by Kell on Thursday April 30 2020, @02:40AM

          by Kell (292) on Thursday April 30 2020, @02:40AM (#988391)

          Did you mean to say that Runaway was unbalanced?

          --
          Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:51PM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:51PM (#988337)

        Your friend sounds like one of the junior zombies who is "on the spectrum".

        He's great at following instructions, and does simple tasks no problem, but if it requires any out-of-the-box type thinking he gets stuck. It can wind up being quite stressful for him because he worries about making the wrong choice so much that sometimes he just stops and makes no choice at all.

        Fortunately his boss loves him because she knows she can give him a task and leave him to it, as long as she is clear about what she wants.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @10:05PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @10:05PM (#988341)

        I don't want to say anything bad about my late father, so posting AC, but this reminds me of something that happened when I was a teenager. We had a clothes line in the unfinished part of the basement so we could hang the big comforter up to dry.

        When one side of the comforter is dry, you need to turn it so that the other side dries in a decent amount of time. So my Dad is like, "can you help me?", and I had seen my folks do this before--take the comforter off the line, turn it over, and put it back on the line. You needed two people to do that. I hadn't really thought about it much, but then it occurred to me that I could keep it on the line, and just sort of pull one end back along the line, flipping it over without ever taking it off the line. I sort of butted in as he was about to take it off the line, and turned it over way faster and with no risk of it falling on the floor.

        He was like, "OK, smarty pants", but at the same time I think he was proud of me for being like that.

        I had always assumed that the WW2/military generation had "teamwork" drilled into their heads. That, I reasoned, was why turning over the comforter had to be a two-man operation for him.

        In retrospect, maybe my Dad had this issue, or maybe it was just a random thing. I went on to get a EE degree and do computer stuff. My Dad did clerical work, and then later managed others who did clerical work which seems like it doesn't involve too much spatial reasoning.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Gaaark on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:00AM (3 children)

          by Gaaark (41) on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:00AM (#988376) Journal

          I seem to be good at thinking outside the box or seeing things that are obvious to me but not others:

          When i was a kid taking driving lessons in school, we had to watch a video: the guy in the video does all this stuff and then at the end he looks in the rear view mirror and says something like "Uh oh, looks like the guy behind me won't be able to stop in time" and he leans forward and grabs the steering wheel.

          My mind went to physics: i asked the teacher if the guy in the video shouldn't, instead, be pushing himself back into the seat instead. The teacher thought about it for a second and then said "I've been teaching this for 17 years and you're the first person to point that out."

          What was obvious to me didn't seem to register with others (or register as a "I'll give a feck and point this out"?)

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:04AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:04AM (#988378)

            Great story, Grandpa. My Tesla drives itself so I don't have to worry about accidents.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @04:54PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @04:54PM (#988639)

              Just you wait until Runaway's truck loses the brakes and smashes into your rear end, at a light.
              Then you will know why he chose that handle...and why your Tesla is like paper to a big rig.

          • (Score: 2) by Kell on Thursday April 30 2020, @02:48AM

            by Kell (292) on Thursday April 30 2020, @02:48AM (#988396)

            I had written out a length reply about why the driver was making the correct action, and then reread your comment and noted that the scenario had the driver being rear-ended; as soon as I realised that, your point made sense to me. Appropriately, this is exactly the sort of visual/spatial reasoning that's being discussed: if I couldn't picture it in my mind's eye, I would not be able to ascertain that your solution was correct. This makes me wonder if the nonverbal learning difficulty is related to aphantasia.

            --
            Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:12PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:12PM (#988648)

          > ...keep it on the line, and just sort of pull one end back along the line, flipping it over without ever taking it off the line

          Great minds think alike -- did the same thing for my Mom. We had a long outdoor clothesline and with sheets & towels it was quick to walk along the line, flipping/inverting each one in turn. Had to get them dry quickly, this area often has pop-up rain showers.

          Can't dry clothes in our basement -- mold problems, even with dehumidfiers.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by martyb on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:31PM (6 children)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:31PM (#988255) Journal

      My guess is this will end up being a spectrum disease.

      I think you nailed it. I've seen the same things over the years. There are some folk who just can't "see it".

      As for "spectrum", there are two sides to that. Well, actually a whole bell curve (or some other statistical distribution)!

      Growing up, my Dad would frequently sketch something he was looking to make. At first, it was just so many lines on a page. Then we'd head off to his workshop and he'd explain what he was doing. Over time, I saw countless examples of seeing his drawings converted into reality... it eventually "clicked" for me. Let's just say that the standardized tests of "which one of these, when folded up, would match this cube?" was a trivial challenge for me. In fact, my visualization skills were an obstacle when I was first studying Geometry. "Given a triangle, where line segments AB and AC are of the same length, show that angle ABC is equiangular to angle ACB." I'd pause for a moment, draw the triangle in my mind, picture what would happen if I changed the length of either AB or AC (or both) or changed the angle BAC. Yep, that's right! Cool!" For some reason the teacher wanted me to prove it, and I'm just thinking "It has to be. What is there to prove?" Eventually, after some frustration and lots of examples, it "clicked" for me, and then I found another branch of mathematics to enjoy.

      So, I suspect that contributes to my having comparative difficulty in fully understanding spoken conversation. First, I have a good vocabulary, so when someone utters a word, I'm faced with (1) was that "to", "too", ""two", "tu", or "tew"? (2) Then after I sorted that out from context, I've still got the problem of wondering how precisely does the word they used match the concept they were trying to voice. Some people are not as precise as others in their word selection. Oftentimes, it's just uttering just the fist word that comes to mind that kinda matches the thought in their mind. (3) Ladle on logical fallacies, irony, double (or triple!) entendre, puns, as well as different parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and things like an adjective phrase, etc., etc.). (4) For more fun, regional pronunciations add their own flair! The suggestion to "Marry merry Mary" mostly sounds like the same word said three times in a row. I actually have heard a proper Bostonian say"Pahk yah kahr in hahvahd yahd."

      Similarly, I prefer to talk with someone in person than on the phone. For me, talking on the phone is is like watching a TV with no picture — so much of the story is missing! With practice, I've gotten better, but is not anywhere at the level of alacrity with which I can read and process visual information.

      Whew! Usually (though far from always) written words benefit from more careful crafting (absent Tweets, IRC, IM, etc.).

      So, back to story at hand. Someone with a Non-Verbal Learning Disability may have none of the difficulty I just stated for dealing with verbal input. I would not be at surprised that they have better verbal skills than I!

      Lastly, it helps me to remember when I am trying to communicate with someone else, that they have different processing and reasoning skills and deficiencies. If I want to make a point, it is incumbent on me to NOT assume that what I heard/said/read/wrote was entirely accurate. It behooves me to rephrase my understanding back and confirm that what I received is what was intended (or that I said/wrote was understood as intended).

      I guess that helps explain how I came to volunteer to be an Editor on SoylentNews! =)

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:41PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:41PM (#988262)

        watching a TV with no picture

        I found that watching TV with picture and sound was a great way to pick up a fair bit of foreign language - as long as the shows are "visual action" oriented, like a guy forgetting his keys, trying to open a door, slapping his forehead and saying "habe Ich mein schlussel ferguessen" (or however it's actually spelled) - even though I had a vague recollection of schlussel and ferguessen from other context, seeing it like that clicked it into useful vocabulary immediately, and apparently permanently (some 30 years ago now.)

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:36PM (#988323)

        That explains a lot.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Gaaark on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:05AM (1 child)

        by Gaaark (41) on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:05AM (#988379) Journal

        At first, it was just so many lines on a page.

        This reminded me of watching Bob Ross: you go from "Well, that's nothing special: that mountain looks pretty awful and what's up with that shitty tree" to "Holy fecking feck! That's fecking beautiful!"

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:58PM (#988613)

          They all start with just a gradient from one point to everywhere else (little Xs with the brush), and it looks like nothing...

          I found it funny my sister-in-law who does graphic design for a living hadn't ever seen him before. About 20 minutes in, she exclaimed, "He's STILL using a 2 inch brush?!?! HOW!?!?!"

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:28AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:28AM (#988411)

        I'd arguably be diagnosable, I have absolutely no ability to visualize anything and any tasks that require visualization are impossible for me without converting to something else, either kinesthetic or just purely abstract. On top of that it can be extremely difficult to plan as I never know what something is going to look like beyond a spoken description.

        A lot of visual and spacial concepts are purely abstract and aren't really ever decoded.

        As I've grown older, I've better leaned how to work with it, but having help would have been great.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:54PM

          by VLM (445) on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:54PM (#988610)

          On top of that it can be extremely difficult to plan as I never know what something is going to look like beyond a spoken description.

          Speaking of which, online shopping and "design by datasheet" is built for the engineering visualization mindset, but people who can't imagine spatial stuff can't really shop online. I can buy IKEA type stuff online and it fits; my wife simply cannot and has to go to the showroom, and sometimes gets it wrong.

          I figured out yesterday how to wedge a microwave preamp between an antenna and existing receiver input all in my head; it depends on SMA minimum bend radii and connector crimp style and order of assembly and routing of cable and stuff like that; then I did it in CAD to PROVE it'll work. People who can't visualize think the CAD magically figured it out, but really its more to prove what the visualizer already knows or prevent silly mistakes, and document for others to read. I mean verbally you can just say "wiggle the thing around in an upward direction instead of sideways and use a specific length crimped SMA connector not any old random connector, and then the minimum cable bend radius will be just fine" but sometimes its easier to just look at a CAD rendering someone else made. I've never actually figured something out with CAD. Its for proving and documenting not brainstorming.

          I mean, heck, I can even buy clothing online, which apparently a lot of people can't do.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:34PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:34PM (#988257)

      Some folks just can't "do" nested loops

      More generally, there are various skills that some folks just can't "do" well, if at all, no matter how much they "study, focus, concentrate, apply themselves, re-visit the pre-requisites, etc."

      I had an employee who simply could not use a mouse - shocked me because he had been running our automated test stations for years, pretty complicated computer thingies, but they were text/keyboard driven - that hand-eye thing with the mouse was outside his available skill set, and it meant that he couldn't run the newer graphic based PCB milling machine we had installed, not even to just trigger it to grind the next board because that was a mouse click on screen button action.

      As for the nested loop thing - I had a PhD working on a 3D histogram problem for several months. He sped up the computation by parallelizing, optimized various bits here and there, but missed an un-necessary extra loop layer: was iterating over the whole volume for each bin, rather than incrementing the respective bins directly during a single pass, caused a lot of cache miss and a ~100x slowdown. When the rest of us found it in a code review, he implemented the suggested change, observed the 100% equivalence of the results, the 100x speedup of execution, but never really understood it - said as much in his code comments as well as in person.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday April 29 2020, @04:31PM (17 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @04:31PM (#988233)

    I have a weird problem (always have since I can remember): I'm "right-left" dyslexic. That is, I know my right and my left, but whenever I actually *say* right or left, half of the time I say the wrong word. Or if I have to point right or left, half of the times I point at the wrong direction. And the more I'm careful to get it right, the more I get it wrong.

    I have no other problem, just that weird habit. It's caused me quite a few embarrassing moments in my life, but not much more really. I've only met 2 people like me in my whole life, strangely enough. Or maybe only 2 with whom I had an occasion to discuss it, which isn't often.

    I wonder if I fit in the "NVLD" category - considering I've never had a learning disability, and I'm more at an age where one starts to forget rather than learn things. I've always been curious to know if my problem is known or recognized. So I figure this article is as good an occasion as any to ask on this here forum.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by KilroySmith on Wednesday April 29 2020, @04:39PM (5 children)

      by KilroySmith (2113) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @04:39PM (#988239)

      My wife has something similar - when she's navigating for me in the car and needs to call out a left or right turn, she holds up a hand with the thumb and forefingers extended in the shape of an "L". If it looks right, then she knows that's her left hand, and can confidently tell me the direction to turn. As an engineer, she's obviously not dumb (nor is she blond), it's just the way her brain works for the aspect of remembering right from left.

      • (Score: 1) by hemocyanin on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:08PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:08PM (#988247) Journal

        Instead of L and R, how about "me" and "you", as in: "make a me up at the light".

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:36PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:36PM (#988258)

        My lab partner in college was Chinese, super bright but would walk out into traffic. Jet black hair - and blonde as they come.

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:22PM (1 child)

          by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:22PM (#988281)

          "Lost in thought"?

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:56PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:56PM (#988295) Homepage

          Perhaps he was intoxicated by the aroma of pangolin soup or the Bacardi logo hanging from the nearby liquor store.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:01PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:01PM (#988243)

      I have a friend like that also. However, unlike you, his problem started later in life, after his time in the army.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:17PM (4 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:17PM (#988278)

        (Obviously) not saying that your friend has a disorder, but many mental disorders, including schizophrenia, develop in mid to late twenties. Not sure why that is.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:32AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @03:32AM (#988415)

          That's not quite right, they appear somewhere between teenage and late 20s typically. And that's coincidentally the period between peak brain growth and the point where the brain largely stood growing any larger. Which makes sense since schizophrenia is largely a neurologic disorder where the brain fails to properly regulate and prune neutral connections.

          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Thursday April 30 2020, @04:38PM (2 children)

            by RS3 (6367) on Thursday April 30 2020, @04:38PM (#988633)

            Either you missed where I wrote "many", or your logic neurons are broken.

            I wrote "many" mental disorders, right? I did not write all. Nor did I write "none develop before mid-twenties."

            Please follow the context, too.

            I'm not disputing what you wrote about brain growth, etc. All true. But you did not have to dispute me by writing: "That's not quite right,". Your ego supersedes your logic. Maybe if you'd use a real login name, you'd proofread before hitting "submit"?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:21PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:21PM (#988653)

              Username shaming!

              How trite.

              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 01 2020, @12:34AM

                by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 01 2020, @12:34AM (#988778)

                Try being on the other end.

                But I guess it all depends on how seriously you take this whole thing.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:05PM (#988245)

      I have a similar thing. I always have to stop and think for a second before saying left or right.

    • (Score: 2) by Kitsune008 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @07:43PM

      by Kitsune008 (9054) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @07:43PM (#988307)

      "Or maybe you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground." my granddad would tell me if I had said that. ;-)

      But I feel for you, man.

      I can't say if your condition is NVLD related or not, but since I had my stroke(very mild as far as strokes go), I find myself doing things similar to what you relate.
      It's monumentally frustrating to 'watch/hear' yourself fsck up like that as it happens, and no way to stop it...already forming corrections and explanations in my mind as it's happening, knowing that unless they are close to you and know of this condition, you will come off as a complete and utter fool.

      *sigh* Age may bring wisdom, but not without consequences.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by FatPhil on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:21PM (1 child)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:21PM (#988332) Homepage
      I'm with you on that, I've solved the problem another way - by adopting new terms. I have "right" and "the other right".
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:39AM (#988381)

        Aristarchus and his Hulk Hogan fanclub call it "alt-right".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @11:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @11:45PM (#988364)

      I have this, I know my right because I write with my right hand so physically put my index, forefinger and thumb into writing position. A physical check like pinching yourself in a dream and I still get it wrong verbally about 10% of the time when giving directions - confirming my right hand while shouting "left here".

      I've never had visual spacial problems although I've never been good at sport ball and I only get not useless at pool between 3 and 6 beers. Weird huh?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:22PM (22 children)

    If it's shared by a large percentage of the population is it a disability or a character trait?

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:32PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:32PM (#988256)

      About 50 percent of the populations get lost while driving/walking, so is a little more common than character traits.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:50PM (3 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:50PM (#988267)

      If it's shared by a large percentage of the population is it a disability or a character trait?

      I've been fairly shocked by the "normalization" or quasi-mainstreaming of disabilities in our local high schools. In the early 1980s we had something less than 3% of our graduating class of ~200 who would admit to any kind of disability, and them only because it was absolutely undeniable - Down's is hard to mask. Most everyone else was running around in hard denial mode that anyone outside that group could be "unable" to do anything - all you had to do was want it bad enough, try hard enough, anybody could do anything. Yeah, delusional.

      Fast forward 40 years and now we've got huge numbers running around with IEPs, identified needs, deficiencies, etc. I'm sure there's some "special flower" syndrome going on in there, people who could do better with less support, but at least some of the system seems to be acknowledging that there are real differences between people that can't be erased by hard work and a strong will.

      Look out, maybe 40 years from now a University president can say something like "black people are better at athletics" without being forced to resign after saying it.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @12:32AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @12:32AM (#988368)

        They aren't better at athletics, they're more likely to focus on that, because there's less resistance to black athletes.The cost of entry is also, often much less than other ways of succeeding. Also, keep in mind that it's not all sports, it's mostly sports that are cheap to get into, black hockey players, golfers and tennis players remain uncommon at the professional level.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @04:55PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @04:55PM (#988640)

          Why is tennis any harder to get into than basket ball, the court size is about the same, and a racket and balls doesn't cost much more than a basket ball...

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 01 2020, @01:30AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 01 2020, @01:30AM (#988792)

            Membership in tennis clubs (where serious competition starts) is expensive. It's social tradition, nothing about the physical aspects of the sport (or court, or equipment) itself.

            --
            John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RS3 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:06PM

      by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:06PM (#988273)

      The answer depends on who can capitalize on it.

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:17PM (5 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:17PM (#988277) Journal

      8% of men are colorblind, I'm struggling to see that as a character trait.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:45PM

        Funny thing, that. Colorblind people are better at spotting motion than those with "normal" vision. It could very well have been an affirmatively selected trait back when hunting was crucial and colors were largely irrelevant.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:03PM (3 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:03PM (#988316)

        8% of men are colorblind, I'm struggling to see that as a character trait.

        Perhaps it's written in color?

        :-}

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 01 2020, @01:35AM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 01 2020, @01:35AM (#988793)

          My wife endlessly retells the story of how I called a maroon awning purple, and how obviously different the two colors are. Now, if I focus hard on my pantone pallettes I can tell maroon from purple, but to my eyes they're really close - apparently not to hers.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 01 2020, @03:01AM (1 child)

            by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 01 2020, @03:01AM (#988810)

            I guess I've been around many artistic women, but I've observed that most women seem to see, or at least process color much more richly than most men. In other words, most men are somewhat colorblind compared to most women I guess. Rather than chide you for having a slight bit of a known trait, perhaps she could revel in her keen color perception?

            I see color fairly well, but my dad was somewhat colorblind, and he got some exasperated mocking from time-to-time. I definitely see a big difference between maroon and purple, but I might blurt out "purple"- just because it's a simpler word to bring up and into the speech flow.

            Ever take any of those color perception tests?

            Okay, this one is infuriating. I'll tell you my score if you tell me yours: https://www.xrite.com/hue-test [xrite.com]

            Ever hear of these? I don't know much: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EnChroma [wikipedia.org]

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 01 2020, @12:30PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 01 2020, @12:30PM (#988895)

              There are proven genetic biases for better color perception with two X chromosomes, then there are the freaks with four color channels (extending into the UV range) - they also tend to be female.

              Until presbyopia set in, I had 20-10 or better vision on the eye tests, and I think some of that comes down to better high resolution contrast perception, which probably is a trade off for less color perception.

              I scored 0 (perfect) in that test, but I'd swear that several of those squares were identical and I was just getting lucky... makes me want to screen cap it and check the hues. Also, fun fact, LCD monitors often have only 6 bits of RGB display capability, even though they take 8 bit input values.

              --
              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:59PM (#988296)

      So if we cut everyone's right leg off then every newborn child for the next many years will be disabled freaks with two legs?

      Hmmmm

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:23PM (7 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:23PM (#988333) Homepage
      Yup, I don't like that particular classification either. Until we find a perfect human, everyone will have some kind of order to some extent. I have "can't throw a javelin even if his life depended on it" disorder in *spades*, for example. And one or two others, I'm sure.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 01 2020, @03:38AM (6 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 01 2020, @03:38AM (#988815)

        Can't throw a javelin? How are you at catching them? :)

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday May 01 2020, @07:11AM (5 children)

          For some bizarre reason, I've never considered attempting that, so any estimation of my ability would have infinite error bars.
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 01 2020, @03:49PM (1 child)

            by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 01 2020, @03:49PM (#989008)

            It ends up being best determined by statistics, needing a large sample-size. It's much easier than one would imagine. There are a few people on SN who need to be convinced to give it a try. We'll tell them about the awards, street cred, etc. :-}

          • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday May 01 2020, @07:50PM (2 children)

            by hendrikboom (1125) on Friday May 01 2020, @07:50PM (#989151) Homepage Journal

            The mean would be 0/0. And the variance, adjusted for small-sample correction, would be 0/-1.

            -- hendrik

            • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday May 02 2020, @08:00AM (1 child)

              by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday May 02 2020, @08:00AM (#989378) Homepage
              I do like the humour in the undefined thing being absolutely precise, which seems strangely true, but the mathematical pedant in me has to point out that unfortunately, the "-1" is a placeholder for a cardinality, and there's no such set.
              --
              I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:27PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:27PM (#988254)

    I can't wait till the education system realizes that everyone learns differently. We have a education problem, not a pupil disorder problem.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:09PM (#988274)

      The education system has known this for years. It is that cheap bastards like you won't fund it to the levels needed to hire enough people to be able to individually tailor educational plans for every student.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:13PM

      by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:13PM (#988276)

      Wrong! Those square pegs will be pounded into the round holes and conform or they will be labeled loser for the rest of their lives.

      /s

      Frustration and sarcasm aside, I had a few classes (very few) K-12 that allowed some flexibility. The most notable was HS chemistry which was fully self-study. That was an easy A for me. Breeze through the easy stuff, spend more time on whatever I got hung up on, and never felt time pressure. I wish they would have done that with math; and coupled it with more real-world usage (which is why I did better with math in college- it was derived from, and applied to, actual stuff.)

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @12:41AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @12:41AM (#988371)

      For people with actual learning problems, it's largely a matter of finding them, more often, it's got nothing to do with ability, it's entitlement. People largely learn the same way, the main exceptions tend to have sensory or neurological abnormalities. The differences that people cite, only account for a small amount of the observed difference and in most cases can be compensated for.

      The whole notion that everybody is different and needs personalization is a gross over simplification and one that doesn't suit the needs of the students very well. In the real world, you don't get materials personalized for you, it's necessary to adapt to the environment.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:30AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:30AM (#988446)

        You're a cog. Grow some independence.

        In the real world, we personalize our environments. We seek jobs we can succeed (or at least not miserably fail) at. We buy and make objects to suit our physical and mental needs. Some of those are very common between humans (eg. we almost all live in environments with enough airflow that we don't get CO2 poisoning) and some are not (handpedal throttle/brake for paraplegic drivers).

        Just about every other living thing also alters its environment to better suit it.

        Only the stupidest of humans says "well, society has told me I should fit into this shape that I don't fit into, I better cram myself into it instead of making or finding a better situation"

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 01 2020, @01:39AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 01 2020, @01:39AM (#988795)

        In the real world, you don't get materials personalized for you, it's necessary to adapt to the environment.

        This is the big one that I think "special" education is missing the boat on. Once they decide it's "too hard" to work with the normal formats they fall all over themselves trying to employ their (pitiful) toolbox of adaptive strategies.

        In my experience, our kids do have special needs, but adaptive communication strategies are no solution at all for their problem - they understand normal speech and writing just as well as any adaptive method that has been tried so far, using the adaptive communication modes isn't helping them at all. Other things, like giving extra time for processing, that really helps, but seems to be a disability of most teachers we've met, including special ed.

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @01:47AM (#988383)

      No, you have common core, failing schools and falling standards.

    • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Thursday April 30 2020, @02:35AM

      by crafoo (6639) on Thursday April 30 2020, @02:35AM (#988388)

      I tend to agree. However, I'm more concerned about the pure nonsense they are teaching rather than how they teach it.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by laserfusion on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:39PM (4 children)

    by laserfusion (1450) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @05:39PM (#988259)

    Are we allowed to discuss solutions such as genetic engineering, or only solutions such as building special needs schools.

    The difficulty in discussing such topics points to a deeper issue with our civilization.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:11PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:11PM (#988275)

      Special needs schools doesn't carry the baggage that eugenics and "master races" do. Plus, there is no evidence that genetic engineering can fix this problem without falling into the eugenics and "mater races" trap ("white blond people are smarter than black people, so lets make everyone white and blond").

      • (Score: 1) by laserfusion on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:44PM (1 child)

        by laserfusion (1450) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @08:44PM (#988326)

        "white blond people are smarter than black people, so lets make everyone white and blond"

        You can choose whatever genetics you wish for your kids , I'm happy that.

        • (Score: 1) by laserfusion on Wednesday April 29 2020, @10:31PM

          by laserfusion (1450) on Wednesday April 29 2020, @10:31PM (#988347)

          Uh, just noticed the quote, anyway that's my response to them.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 01 2020, @12:39PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 01 2020, @12:39PM (#988898)

      I think all discussion is healthy, but... as tempting as genetic engineering sounds, there is value in diversity. If we're all restricted to blue eyed, blonde haired, fair skinned athletic offspring the future will be losing a lot.

      We did amnio, which is a form of genetic screening, and I would have been in favor of aborting for something clear like Downs' - but my wife would not have - we didn't get that choice. We did get autistic regression at age 2 and I did a lot of soul searching - I came to: if there was a magic wand cure that would transform my child from his present state to exact middle of the pool average, I don't want it. At 18 he's still severe, and I'd often be tempted to use the magic wand if I had it, but looking at what often happens with middle of the pool average 18 year olds, I'm still not sure it would be a good trade for either of us.

      About the blonde hair and blue eyes, where I grew up there was a commune of sorts out in the boonies - about 100 residents, and they appeared to be inbreeding. My dad taught them as they came through 10th grade science. All blonde hair and blue eyes, mostly athletic, and every single one as dumb as a post - according to him. And, the thing about being dumb in a community like that: you don't realize just how dumb you are.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:40PM (#988285)

    "NVLD^H^H^H^H being human is a huge and hidden public health burden,

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:46PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 29 2020, @06:46PM (#988290) Homepage Journal

    I won't attempt to go into any depth here, but I've heard many times that there are six basic learning styles. The obverse of that coin, are the six teaching styles.

    Different people learn things in different ways. I'm pretty sure that has been an accepted fact of life for a long, long time now. Never mind that a quick internet search finds links that deny learning styles.

    But, still, the fact is, if I have a bunch of kids to read directions for something from a book, some of them can then follow the directions, but some cannot. If I show them, some of those kids can then do what I have shown them, but some can not. If I TELL them, verbally, some will "get it", and others will not. Some of those kids won't understand what I'm talking about until I allow them to get their fingers in the mess, and manipulate stuff, and they'll "get it".

    Seems to me, that here, maybe they are taking one of these groups, and segregating them from the rest, to assign a "disorder" to them. "If you can't conform, then there is something wrong with you."

    Of course, I have this antipathy to all those shrinks who tell us that almost everyone is screwed up in some way. How about we just accept people for what they are, and stop defining them as "disordered"?

    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/mental-health-disorder-statistics [hopkinsmedicine.org]

    The following are the latest statistics available from the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health:

            Mental health disorders account for several of the top causes of disability in established market economies, such as the U.S., worldwide, and include: major depression (also called clinical depression), manic depression (also called bipolar disorder), schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

            An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older -- about 1 in 4 adults -- suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

            Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

            Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia) each year.
                    Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men. However, men and women are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder.
                    While major depression can develop at any age, the average age at onset is the mid-20s.
                    With bipolar disorder, which affects approximately 2.6% of Americans age 18 and older in a given year -- the average age at onset for a first manic episode is during the early 20s.

            Most people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder -- most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.
                    Four times as many men than women commit suicide. However, women attempt suicide more often than men.
                    The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are found in Caucasian men over age 85. However, suicide is also one of the leading causes of death in adolescents and adults ages 15 to 24.

            Approximately 1% of Americans are affected by schizophrenia.
                    In most cases, schizophrenia first appears in men during their late teens or early 20s. In women, schizophrenia often first appears during their 20s or early 30s.

            Approximately about 18% of people ages 18- 54 in a given year, have an anxiety disorder in a given year. Anxiety disorders include: panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobia).
                    Panic disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood.
                    The first symptoms of OCD often begin during childhood or adolescence.
                    GAD can begin at any time, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age.
                    Individuals with OCD frequently can have problems with substance abuse or depressive or eating disorders.
                    Social phobia typically begins in childhood or adolescence.

    --
    Let's go Brandon!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 29 2020, @09:02PM (#988330)

      Huh, didn't figure you for one of the touchy-feely positive energy only types.

      s - Certainly don't want any kids growing up in Amurrica with the idea that they might have some weaknesses!!!1!! - /s

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30 2020, @05:53AM (#988448)

      Most people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorderMost people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorderMost people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder

      fuck me put it all on black and spin the fuckin wheel!

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