FOUNDER SUSAN KONIAK SPEAKS AT NLDA SYMPOSIUM.
The Nonverbal Learning Disorders Association (NLDA) held
its 11th Annual Symposium at San Jose State University,
in San Jose, California, in March 2007. NLDA is a world-wide
nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education,
and advocacy for nonverbal learning disorders. The presenters
at the symposium all were psychiatrists, psychologists,
or social workers currently studying learning disorders
or counseling individuals who have these disorders – all,
that is, except Susan who was the only layman invited to
speak. Susan's talk, “Navigating on the Moon,” explained
what it is like for NLD-people to navigate a world constructed
and run by people without NLD-like brains. Susan spoke
about how she, a law professor with severe cognitive deficits
in all the typical NLD domains, found what she calls “the
other way round” – strategies for coping in
a world that was made by and for so-called “normal” folks.
The audience consisted of doctors and other mental health
professionals, as well as people with NLD, their families
and friends. At the end of her talk, Susan received a standing
Tom Ross, Secretary of Sarah's Place, also attended the
Symposium. While at the Symposium, Susan and Tom met many
who have NLD, and their families. Tom and Susan also had
a productive conversation about practical interventions
with Carol Stockdale, Director of the ARK Institute of
Learning in Tacoma, Washington, and Michele Berg, Founder
of the Center for Learning Disabilities in Topeka, Kansas.
Susan hopes that Sarah’s Place will be able to collaborate
with these organizations in the future.