Hi there, I've got a NLD chaos in my head

Since I got a mention on another NLD blog I’ve been following for a while, I thought it might be time for an introduction post.

My name is Marjan, I’m a 22 year old girl and I live in Belgium. I study pedagogic of the young child Early Childhood Education in Ghent, after studying three years of pedagogical and educational sciences. (Edit: apparently they finally made an own translation of the title, so I changed it. I only did that here though, I’m too lazy to go through it all.)

I was  15 when I was diagnosed with NLD, and 21 when I heard I’ve got dyscalculia. My girlfriend (I’m bi) sometimes thinks I might have ADD as well - she does - but let’s not add that to the list!

During my third year of secondary school, my math teacher suspected there was something off with me, so she suggested an IQ test. It became clear I’m highly gifted on anything to do with language, but terrible at anything to do with math, maps, visual stuff, … Conclusion: NLD. It explained a lot. (I also think the teacher only thought of it because there was a guy in my class with NLD. He left after three months though.)

In secondary school I never received any extra help though, except for the last two years (ages 17-19) in a new school. Those years I got extra time, could use a calculator and if I wanted to, teachers had to read the questions aloud for me. The last year I also got to sit in a separate classroom, together with a maximum of ten other pupils that had some kind of learning disorder.

After secondary school I decided on going to uni in Ghent, to study pedagogical and educational sciences. The first year went great. I only failed two courses, including statistics. I didn’t take the resit for that one either, because I wanted to concentrate on my other resits. The second year I took all the courses from that year, plus those two first year courses. That wasn’t the best idea, because it was really heavy and my usual winter dip turned into a winter depression. I failed a lot of courses, I don’t even want to count. So the third year I was actually combining courses from the first three years. Including, still, statistics. I convinced my mum into giving me my NLD papers in order to get facilities at uni. They said NLD is a rather controversial diagnosis and that they’d test me on dyscalculia. I agreed. Results came back in March and damn. It’s bad. I often score clinical, or very weak. I got facilities, but because I was sick during the statistics exam, had to do a resit in August and there I didn’t get those facilities. I failed again, for the third time.

I cried my eyes out, but decided (read: kinda was forced to by my mum, but I understand her and I know it’s for the best but I still hate it) to switch studies and go to college instead of university. And no more statistics. My plan B always was elementary school teacher. But after some threats because of the dyscalculia, and the thought of having to study all that elementary school stuff again which was very demotivating, I decided on doing a brand new study I had heard from at uni. (It also helped that by choosing that one, I didn’t have to go live back home…)

It’s called pedagogic of the young child. It’s about kids between 0 and 12. This year is only the third year it exists, and apparently I’m the first student switching from pedagogical and educational sciences to this study. I don’t have to do some courses, but it’s still gonna take me three years to get my diploma because we’ve got a hell of a lot of internships to do. It hasn’t got a semester system like uni, but a module system. For me this is way more stressful though, so I’m not all too happy with that. Until now I’ve been rather bored and I didn’t learn anything new so far. Not that weird, since they haven’t taken my diplomas of animator, head animator and instructor in consideration for courses I don’t have to take. So here I am, hoping the courses will become more difficult.

Last April - I can’t believe it hasn’t even been a year - I met another girl with NLD. For the very first time. Except that one guy in my class that disappeared before I even knew I had NLD as well, I never met anyone with the diagnosis. And since I was told it’s more common among boys, my hopes weren’t exactly up to meet a girl! I’m really glad I met her and even though it’s not like we talk about it all the time, it’s nice to know that there’s someone else out there that has kind of the same problems I deal with - even though those situations aren’t usually seen as difficult ones. I mean, I don’t wish NLD upon anyone, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone out there. Because, who the hell has to develop tricks to get a key into the keyhole? Who can drive a car, but can’t drive without a GPS and doesn’t even know how the route goes, even when that person took a look at the map the GPS gives you? 

I do. And though it sometimes sucks, it’s a part of me and I’ve learned some tricks to get around. 

If someone has questions or wants to know more, feel free to contact me!

Also, yes, I still need to fix a theme and shit. I’m sorry.