Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning

Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Differences

Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning
Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder

Most girls with Turner Syndrome have a very specific neurocognitive phenotype. Scientists are still trying to understand it. No two people are the same, but there are a few characteristics that seem to be present in most of us girls with Turner Syndrome. It is usually broadly categorized as a Nonverbal Learning Disorder.
Despite overall normal and average IQs, most girls with TS have some difficulty in the following areas…

Visuospatial Perception
Visuoperceptual Abilities
Executive Function
Nonverbal Memory
Working Memory
Attention
Organization and Planning

Some areas girls with Turner Syndrome seem to be above average in are…
Verbal skills
Writing
Reading

There is still much to learn about the Turner Syndrome girl’s brain and what makes it unique. It is thought to be linked to part of the missing X chromosome and originate from the right hemisphere of the brain. Many studies are still being conducted about this.

What does this mean for you as a girl or woman with Turner Syndrome?
You may have difficulties in areas of life such as…
Social skills and relationships
Mathematics
Driving/Navigating

Some things you will probably be better than most at are…
Reading
Writing
Verbal skills

Every girl is different. For example, I am a really fast reader. However, some girls will have a little trouble with reading. The point is that no two people are the same, even if they have the same condition!

So what can you do to deal with the learning differences that we Turner Syndrome patients have? Well, here’s what helps me:
Get Tutoring in math
Consider homeschooling
Practice your social skills, particularly eye contact
Write! It is probably something you are very good at. Personally I find it very therapeutic.
Smile! πŸ™‚
Make sure it is really safe for you to drive. There is absolutely no shame in not being able to!
GPS is a wonderful thing, and can help you not get lost

Above all, an understanding family will be a great help to a girl with Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder. Children with this may have a little more trouble making friends, keeping their things organized, get lost often, and have a short attention span or be forgetful. Especially in a very intelligent child, this can be confusing and frustrating to a parent, who may mistake this as misbehavior or laziness. A child with NLD simply has a different learning style. I got overwhelmed very easily as a child and still have anxiety problems that I struggle with. However, life can be successfully navigated with a Nonverbal Learning Disorder. Everyone has a different learning style. It can be a good thing! A little patience and determination can go a long way.

Whatever learning style you have, remember to view it as an advantage rather than a hindrance! πŸ™‚

This was a super fast overview. If you want a more in depth discussion of Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder please check out the chapter about it in section 3 of my book As a Butterfly: Turner Syndrome Survival Guide.

Thanks so much for reading!

2 thoughts on “Turner Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning”

  1. What kind of specialists should I contact both for my daughter and me. I need to understand her challenges so I can help her.

    1. That’s an excellent question! I would suggest going to the http://www.TSSUS.org website and looking under the Professional Directory for a physician. There are a few specialists in areas such as psychiatry, behavioral neurogenetics, and developmental phsychoendocrinology. All of the specialists in these areas that are listed on that site should be very knowledgeable about TS and the challenges girls with Turner Syndrome face. Two things that will be very important to your daughter’s mental and emotional development will be starting puberty at a normal age (through proper bioidentical hormone replacement) as well as meeting other girls with Turner syndrome. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps!
      -Michelle S.

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