Learning Disorders Across The Lifespan: A Mental Health Framework

This book addresses the need to view specific learning disorders (SLDs) within a mental health framework, as supported by their placement alongside autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It describes how policy and practice point to a different perspective – specifically that SLDs are often treated as educational rather than psychological problems – and examines the implications of this dichotomy. The book reviews empirical research that suggests children need access to treatment for clinical components of SLDs that may respond to psychological intervention separately from, and in addition to, educational interventions. It provides a theoretical framework for organizing research findings and clinical perspectives that support understanding the clinical components of SLDs and addresses the need for a mental health framework within which to approach theory, treatment, and assessment of SLDs.

Key areas of coverage include:

Examining different theoretical orientations to learning disorders (e.g., cognitive, behavioral, neuropsychoeducational, psychoanalytic).

Adapting evidence-based therapeutic techniques for use with children and adolescents who have learning disorders.

The need for accurate and well characterized assessment of SLDs.

How incorporating a cognitive neuroscience perspective into assessment can move LD treatment and research forward.

Learning Disorders Across the Lifespan is an essential reference for clinicians, therapists, and other professionals as well as researchers, professors, and graduate students in school and clinical child psychology, special education, speech-language therapy, developmental psychology, pediatrics, social work as well as all interrelated disciplines.

NVLD and Developmental Visual-Spatial Disorder in Children

This volume examines how a child’s psychology – thoughts, feelings, beliefs – affects functioning and learning and how experiences are processed through individual personality, psychology, culture, family dynamics, and environmental and economic circumstances.

Nonverbal Learning Disabilities in Children: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Practice

Examines NVLD within the context of other developmental disorders, most notably high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome, exploring current genetic, environmental, and neurobiological theories of NVLD causes, diagnostic methods, and quality interventions.

Treating NVLD in Children: Professional Collaborations for Positive Outcomes

A concise guide for professionals treating young people with nonverbal learning disabilities. Expert psychologists, educators, and rehabilitative therapists explain their treatment approach, decision making process, and professional interactions.

Understanding Non-Verbal Learning Disability: A Guide to Symptoms, Management and Treatment (Understanding Atypical Development)

This essential book offers an accessible, evidence-based guide to Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD) informed by the most current research, and clinical and educational practice. It provides a thorough explanation of the science behind the condition, alongside ideas, support and practical tips for managing the everyday challenges of the disorder at school and in family life.

Mammarella, Cardillo and Broitman describe the main characteristics of the condition from both theoretical and practical points of view, as well as examining the similarities and differences between NVLD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. They explore the cognitive and academic weaknesses and strengths of children with NVLD, and the emotional and social difficulties they may experience. The book also provides a systematic review of scientific studies in this field, whilst focusing on issues of diagnostic criteria, as well as assessment and intervention strategies. Practical examples are given for teachers and parents to help support children with NVLD, in improving their visuospatial and motor skills, as well as peer-social relations, and in promoting the child’s individual abilities.

Understanding Non-Verbal Learning Disability is essential reading for parents and practitioners in clinical and educational psychology, health and social care, and students in these fields.

I treat adults in psychotherapy. Several of them have children diagnosed (finally) with NLD. Getting help was a nightmare for them for many years. Then I hooked them up with Drs. Davis and Broitman who finally brought calm, thoughtful sense into their lives and their relationship to their kids. Understanding this subtle, complex syndrome is half the battle. Doing something about it is another.

It has been both my direct experience with Davis and Broitman and the knowledge gained from this book that’s made it crystal clear how under-diagnosed, under-treated, and misunderstood these kids tend to be. Their book finally corrects this problem.

NLD really HAS to be treated by a team, that it’s a collaborative enterprise involving people with different skill-sets. Putting them together is the problem. This book is the solution.

Michael J. Bader

As a family therapist, I very much took heart from their conclusion that “children with NVLD can successfully learn and lead productive lives despite their particularly unusual set of strengths and difficulties.” With the help of this book, their families, and well-educated practitioners, I am sure they can.


Davis and Broitman have made a significant contribution with the publication of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities in Children. As a psychologist, I can enthusiastically recommend it to colleagues and clients.

For many of us, the term nonverbal learning disability has not been clearly defined or understood. This book is accessible. It clearly defines nonverbal learning disabilities and the problems encountered by those who struggle with them.

Whether working with children or adults, this book should be part of a mental health practitioner’s library.

John Gualtieri

Psychology Today Blogs :

Learning Disorders Across the Lifespan

A Mental Health Framework.

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Estimated Prevalence of Nonverbal Learning Disability Among North American Children and Adolescents. Margolis AE, Broitman J, et al. JAMA New Open. 2020;3(4)

“Team Collaboration for Best Practice Treatment of NVLD Across Three-systems”. Broitman, J. & Davis, J.M. in Medical and Educational Perspectives on NVLD in Children and Young Adults Edited by Barbara Rissman, (2016) IGI Global

Treating NVLD in Children: Professional Collaborations for Positive Outcomes, Broitman & Davis, (2013) Springer, NY; ISBN 978-1-4614-6178-4

Nonverbal Learning Disabilities in Children: Bridging the Gap between Science and Practice, Davis & Broitman (2011) Springer, NY; ISBN 978-1-4419-8212-2

“A Brief Historical Overview of Nonverbal Learning Disorders”, Davis, J.M. & Broitman, J. The Educational Therapist, Vol. 27, p. 5, 2006

“Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: Models of Proposed Subtypes”, Davis, J.M., & Broitman, J. The Educational Therapist, Vol. 28, p. 5, 2007

“How the patient’s plan relates to the concept of transference”, Fretter, P., Bucci, W., Broitman, J., et al. Psychotherapy Research, Vol. 4, p. 58, 19