Putting Some Good in the World

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I am a young woman with a nonverbal learning disability which simply means that I have issues with nonverbal communication and impaired spatial ability. I have met other individuals with NLD by joining groups for individuals and parents of individuals with NLD. I have worked at a nonprofit devoted to assisting people with Turner Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality with one of the underlying issues being that girls with the condition often have NLD.

What I decided to do two years ago was to establish a new initiative called The NLD Exchange that shares resources, advice, new research, and personal perspectives into life with this learning disability and any comorbid issues that relate to the condition. The end goal for the NLD Exchange is to formally establish it as a nonprofit organization. I feel that this will serve a need that has been left unfulfilled. While other organizations do exist to help people like me there is only one other organization that specifically assists individuals with NLD.

However, what I would like to see are more resources for young adults and older adults with this learning disability. Unfortunately there is a scarcity of information out there for those who are beyond school age and I would like my initiative to advocate for further research into this condition. This is a question that has been proposed to me and I’d like to do something to answer this.

Greater visibility is crucial for NLD as many do not fully understand it or even know it exists. My desire for the NLD Exchange is to be a catalyst for change in this regard. Hopefully this can all come to fruition and I can really put some good in the world by establishing the NLD Exchange as a nonprofit. To see what I’ve created so far you can visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheNLDExchange.

 

 

For the Love of the Cozy Mystery

 

Ever since I started playing “Criminal Case” on my iPad, I have been intrigued by solving mysteries. Many top mystery books though involve a lot of gore and violence which doesn’t really appeal to me. My mom was the one to suggest reading what is referred to as “cozy mysteries” to me. Cozy mysteries are mystery novels that are not as intense in tone as regular mystery novels and have very little violence and gory scenes.

I started reading cozy mysteries last month and ever since I have been hooked on them. Some authors I would recommend for starting out are Lois Lavrisa, Joanne Fluke, and Gina LaManna. These are all authors whose books I have read and really enjoyed. The characters are very relatable and they are fast-paced books with unique settings and often a lighthearted tone to them.

What has allowed me to open up to cozy mysteries is the fact that lately I have been in a bit of a reading rut. It has been difficult to find books that I can really get swept away in and until last month I wasn’t reading books as frequently as I used to. Now that I have a new found love for cozy mysteries I am reading more and enjoy discussing these books with my mom.

Why would I recommend cozy mysteries over more mainstream mystery novels? There is simply too much drama in the world today and a cozy mystery allows you to get away from all the tension and intensity and soak up a book that doesn’t have too much of that. Now don’t get me wrong—mainstream mysteries are still good books but I just can’t seem to attach myself to them as easily as I do to cozy mysteries.

The next time you visit your local bookstore or library I would suggest venturing over to the mystery section and consider checking out a cozy mystery. I guarantee that you won’t regret it.

The Discovery

In early 2010 my mom was doing some research online and found out about a learning disability called nonverbal learning disability. Many of the traits that individuals with this disability had were similar to those that I possessed. For example, those with NLD are often very black and white and literal in thinking which is definitely me and have poor spatial sense which is me to a tee. They can be prone to anxiety and depression due to difficulties with the subtle nuances of social communication such as nonverbal communication, body language, and social cues.

Her doctor recommended that I consult a neuropsychologist so off we went to seek answers. My entire medical history was laid out before this doctor and an appointment was made for a neuropsychological evaluation. At about the time of my evaluation I had just turned twenty which was a sad but also exciting milestone. Anyway, the evaluation was an all-day session from 10-4, and my evaluator was surprised at my verbal abilities (another classic sign of NLD—our verbal intelligence is often much stronger than our spatial intelligence.) It would be another week or so before we went back to the neuropsychologist’s office where I was formally diagnosed with NLD. It felt great to have a name for at least part of the disabilities that I had.

Now that I knew I had NLD, I started joining groups dedicated to helping individuals with NLD on Facebook as well as some email lists. I wanted to learn as much as I could about NLD and the more I found out the more I realized just how much in common I had with other individuals with this learning disability. It was the first time I was able to talk to other people who had struggled with same of the issues I’d had throughout my life. I had always felt different from others my age and now I was beginning to think that my social issues stemmed from my NLD.

My NLD has impacted my life in a variety of ways. It has affected my social skills and my ability to get around independently due to my very poor spatial abilities. I have been fortunate to have a great support system in my family and they have helped me to improve both socially and spatially. I used to get lost on the campus of the community college I attended all the time but when I transferred to a nearby university I was able to figure out the campus in a week due to the cognitive therapy I had that summer.

Can I say that life has always been easy with NLD? No, I can’t honestly say that. I can admit though that it does not define who I am as a person. I have transcended my disability and become an advocate for others with NLD through my Facebook page and have managed to maintain a part-time job at a major local department store for almost eight years. That truly is something to celebrate and I couldn’t have gotten this far without the support and guidance of my family.

College

College is a time of transition

A time to change

College can be stressful

Don’t let it overwhelm you

What makes you stronger

Are the challenges to overcome

The struggles you encounter

Will only make you a better person in the end

College

It can be a scary thing

On your own for the first time

Remember who your friends are

And your family, too

They will stay by your side

Through thick and through thin

They will always be there for you

You will shine in college

Brighter than the rest

You will thrive in college

Your life will never be the same again

Yes, college is a new journey

But the end result

Is working to fulfill your greatest dreams

And there is truly nothing better than that

Getting Older

Getting older isn’t easy

Like chasing dreams that seem impossible

Life is moving too fast

I’m just trying to catch up

I wish I could turn back time and rewind

To the days when everything was easy

Things sometimes seem so hard

I wish for good things to come

Getting older is so hard

With each passing day I wonder

If I’m doing enough to make my life

As great as it could be

So grateful though to have my family

Constantly at my side

With them as my support

Getting older will be easier

Because I know I have people

There for me and ready

To be the comfort I need

In my most trying times

Okay

I’ve been thinking about you

Hoping everything will be okay

That it’ll all work out in the end

Because you mean so much to me

And have always been my friend

Through thick and thin you’ve been there

Forever at my side

My life’s better with you in it

With you I have nothing to hide

Thank you for the memories

I hope that more will come

And everything will be okay

Because you’re my number one

A Frustrating Process: The College Graduate’s Job Search

I graduated four years ago from a well-known local university and have yet to obtain a full-time position utilizing my degree. I have 1.5 years of office experience from working as the assistant to the president of a nonprofit organization but this experience has not helped me to acquire another position doing similar work. It is truly one of the most frustrating and difficult ordeals to go through and I hate that so many jobs that seem perfect require more experience than I have.
I know that I am not the only college graduate I know who struggles with finding a job. I am fortunate enough to have a retail job that I love and will have worked there eight years this coming July. I am just so sick of living paycheck to paycheck and wish that things could change for me. I keep searching regularly but so far nothing has really come out of this job search process.
What makes my job search process unique is the fact that I have a disability which impacts my ability to go places independently. I am unable to drive because of the physical aspects of my disability so distance plays a factor in the job search. I not only have to consider the required experience of a particular job but also the distance from home.
I know that I can always do freelance work but I truly desire an office position where I can meet new people and develop strong and lasting professional relationships. The right job must be out there for me and I pray that a good opportunity arises for me in the near future. I apologize for the rant but this is something that has become a real source of anxiety for me and has led me to question whether I will ever get a full-time job.
What I have decided to do though to improve my chances of getting a full-time position is to start taking courses related to what I learned in college to brush up on my skills and knowledge of communications media. I believe that this will enable me to remain up to date on the rapidly evolving world of media and since I have always loved learning I think this will be perfect for me. I am starting this return to starting courses by working on a specialization in social media marketing taught by professors from Northwestern University. Since social media is one of the most prominent types of media out there right now I feel that this will really help me to learn more about this popular media outlet.
I hope that in writing about my frustrations in finding a full-time job others can relate to me and possibly share their own experiences about the job-hunt process. You can definitely become a more well-rounded person by taking classes related to what you wish to do in the future and remain grounded in the world that you were immersed in during your college years. Please don’t consider giving up your job search because eventually the right opportunity will arise for you.

Previous Older Entries