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.

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How Your Personality Type Affects Your Enjoyment of Life

Did you know that your personality type can influence how you live your life? There are three different personality types—Type A, Type B, and Type D—that individuals can be classified as and the personality type that suits you the best can often impact how much fulfillment you gain from living your life. Let us explore these personality types in depth so that you will be able to determine what your personality type is and what this means for your lifestyle.
Research has indicated that individuals with a Type A personality have the following traits among others:
• Time Urgency and Impatience—People with this personality characteristic tend to get frustrated while waiting, often interrupt others, walk or talk at a fast pace, and are very cognizant of what time it is and how much time they have to spare.
• Aggressiveness—People with this personality tend to be impatient, rude, easily upset over little things, and have a short temper
• Competitiveness
• Strong Motivation for Achievement
• High degree of conscientiousness
• Tend to be anxious about the future and the worst case scenarios of any problems or failures
• Difficulty falling asleep at night
• Focus more energy on your career than on your relationships
• Low tolerance for incompetence
• Sensitive to stress
The term “Type A” originated in the 1950s when a cardiologist, Meyer Friedman, observed a relationship between the presence of heart disease and personality type—to clarify, those most likely to suffer a cardiac incident tended to have more driven, impatient, high-stress personalities. Type A theory became a popular term subsequently after the publication of the book he co-authored with Dr. Ray H. Rosenman, Type A Behavior and Your Heart, in 1974. This book led to the characterization of people who fit the mold of a “Type A” personality as highly competitive. John Schaubroeck, professor of psychology and management at Michigan State University, stated:
“Type A is a shorthand way of referring to a predisposition that people have. It’s not like there are “Type As” and then there are “Type Bs”, but there is a continuum that as you’re more on the Type A side of the spectrum, you’re more driven and tend to be impatient and competitive and get irritated easily by impediments to your progress on things.”
Ten questions that can help determine whether you are a “Type A” personality are:
1. Are you short on time before and after work?
2. Do you take work home with you often?
3. Do you eat quickly?
4. Do you have a strong need to excel?
5. Do you have a hard time finding time to get your hair cut and styled?
6. Do you feel or act impatient when you have to wait in line?
7. Are you easily irritated?
8. Are you a domineering person?
9. Did you have an uncontrollable temper when you were younger?
10. Do you walk or talk at a faster pace than others and often have to slow down so others can catch up with you?
You can definitely enjoy life though if you are a “Type A” personality though. Some methods include trying to make your job less stressful, more rewarding, and less demanding by changing factors in your work life; using positive “self-talk” to talk yourself through negative experiences and make your thoughts more positive; consciously attempting to slow yourself down and become more patient with others; and keeping a journal where you write about your feelings and about possible solutions to the problems you encounter in your life.
The Type B personality type differs from Type A personalities by the following respects:
• Individuals with a Type B personality tend to live at a lower stress level.
• They work at a steady pace and enjoy achievements but don’t become too stressed when goals are not achieved.
• They do not mind losing during competitions or games and can find enjoyment in the game despite losing.
• They can be creative and enjoy exploring different ideas and concepts.
• They often are contemplative and reflective and think about the outside and inside worlds.
• Calm and easy-going
• Work without getting anxious or agitated
• Remain carefree and cheerful most of the time and are fun to hang out with
• Do not mind waiting in line and are not compulsive about meeting deadlines
• Rarely display aggression or frustration
Ten questions that can help you determine whether you are a “Type B” personality include:
1. Are you slow to anger and feel less stressed about life?
2. Are you more likely to delegate responsibilities in high-pressure situations?
3. Are you a creative thinker with a good “big-picture” worldview?
4. Are you more poised, calm, and easy-going?
5. Are you calm when confronting failure?
6. Do you see others as potential collaborators or partners?
7. Is your mind focused on creating new products and solving complex problems?
8. Are you able to enjoy the journey of life rather than focusing on getting to your destination?
9. Are you more satisfied with your situation in life?
10. Do you find it easy to connect with all types of people no matter how much they differ from you?
The Type D personality type describes someone who has a negative outlook on life. Individuals who fit the description of a Type D personality tend to be reliable but lack motivation or creativity. They may experience a lot of stress, anger, worry, hostility, tension, and other negative emotions. This personality type seems to relate to those who have low self-esteem and social inhibitions and have a tendency towards depression.
Research has indicated that individuals with this personality type may have an elevated risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Some ways to overcome the negativity associated with this personality type include regular therapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist and trying to create a structured life with an emphasis on social interaction and healthy relationships with others. But how can you tell if you are a Type D personality? The following questions may help:
1. Do small failures or not successfully completing daily chores or tasks make you feel down and lead to you thinking of the event the rest of the day?
2. Do you have problems taking initiative and orders at work or at school?
3. Do you feel you are one of the most emotionally affected individuals in the world?
4. Do you want to talk and interact with people but worry they may not accept you?
5. Are you worried most of the time?
6. Do you repress your emotions and not open up to others?
7. Are you prone to negativity and feelings of rejection?
8. Do you lack self-motivation and drive?
9. Are you inclined to avoid facing problems or delay confrontation over issues?
10. Are your thoughts not productive and lack creativity compared to others?
People can certainly be a mix of personality types but often do have a dominant personality type. What must be realized though is that your personality type does not necessarily have to decide how your life will play out. You must remember that you are truly the compass that directs your life. No matter what your personality type is, you have to remember that you can always live a fulfilling life when you seize the day and focus on the present rather than the past and future.