Memory and NVLD according to Dr. Rourke

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Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,302
Location: A rock in the milky way

15 Apr 2010, 6:14 pm

Memory. Memory for tactile and visual input is poor. Relative deficiencies in these areas tend to increase over the course of development, except for material that is programmatic and overlearned (e.g., spoken natural language). Memory for nonverbal material, whether presented through the auditory, visual, or tactile modalities, is poor if such material is not readily coded in a verbal fashion. Relatively poor memory for complex, meaningful, and/or novel verbal and nonverbal material is typical. Differences between good to excellent memory for rote material and impaired memory for complex material and/or that which is not readily coded in a verbal fashion tend to increase with age.

The bolded terms seem very subjective to me. I have to wonder what verbal material Rourke would consider "complex" and "meaningful". I assume he's referring to long-term memory here, but i'm not certain about that. If so, he would be talking about SEMANTIC memory in particular correct? With the exception of myself, most NLD-ers seem to have an excellent verbal memory (at least when it comes to long-term memory) and many NLD-ers on WP have claimed just that. Some significant deficits in visual memory are common enough among NLD-ers, but I just don't encounter many (again...aside from myself) who complain of problems with verbal memory regardless of whether the verbal material they're trying to remember is "complex" and "meaningful" or not.

Also...does anyone know anything about the "Category test" on the Halstead-Reitan battery?

According to one book I was reading by a neuropsychologist, people who score especially low on the Category Test often complain of "memory problems".

I scored at the <1st percentile on the Category test and I do little else aside from complaining about my memory problems. :lol:

Hardly a laughing matter...but what the hell?

Anyway....I believe my own memory problems include BOTH verbal and nonverbal semantic, procedural and episodic long-term memory. It doesn't seem to matter whether the verbal material is "complex" and/or "meaningful" either. I only seem to remember a few isolated and random details from anything I read. It doesn't matter how many times I read the same thing, how interesting the material is to me, or how well I comprehend it. I only seem able to retain/recall the smallest fraction of info from anything I read. It's been this way all my life so this is certainly nothing age-related. As i've stated a million times before in this group....ALL my neuropsychological memory test scores were within normal (or higher) ranges aside from ones involving visual memory. But I have also included an article in many of my posts which demonstrates how serious long-term memory problems could easily be overlooked by the standard neuropsychological memory tests like the Weschler Memory Scale. Since I can't afford further diagnostic testing ( perhaps some neuroimagining like MRI for example) I really don't know why, or even IF, I have this profound and extremely debilitating memory impairment. I'm not even sure an MRI would tell me anything further, but based upon what I read in the aforementioned article, (among other sources) hippocampal damage and arachnoid cysts can be easily detected by an MRI and both (especially any dysfunction in the hippocampus) can be responsible for memory problems of one kind or another. On the other hand....everyone I know AND all the results of my memory tests on the neuropsych evals i've had would suggest that i've (somehow!! ! 8O ) "gaslighted" myself when it comes to these memory problems I claim to have. So I really have no idea what i'm dealing with here and whether it's real, exaggerated or totally imagined. Either way it's been profoundly disabling, likely more so than any other learning problems I have and definitely more so than the NLD/AS-related social and psychomotor problems I experience. If these memory problems have some basis in neurological reality, I don't know if they are NVLD-related (since Rourke has claimed that even deficits in verbal memory can be) or not either. All I know is that I can't stand the mystery of it all any longer. I'm constantly racking whatever brains I have to try and find answers. I've been trying to get an MRI for nearly a year now, but I can't afford one and my insurance won't cover it. I have tried to find a research study I might be eligible for which would include an MRI, but i've come up empty thus far. You must be Dx-ed with a formal ASD in order to participate in the ones i've come across and NVLD doesn't qualify. As most of you probably know, it doesn't even qualify as an official APA-accepted mental disorder at all. My desperation to solve this memory mystery of mine is no longer being driven by mere curiosity alone either. I would love nothing more than to go back to college after dropping out (I have an AA in liberal arts :roll: ) nearly a decade ago. If i'm going to do this, I would like to start classes no later than Jan 2011. But if my memory is truly as impaired as I think it likely is, then what would be the point? If everything I read and study is just going to fall out of my brain like a sieve then obviously college for me would be a painful exercise in futility. If I do have memory problems, then maybe there are ways to improve my memory and/or compensate for the deficits. But I would first need to know what they entail precisely before I have even a remote chance of working on them.

I am soon to be 41 years old and I would at least like to have BS/BA degree under my belt already and SOME hope, however faint, of obtaining a decent-paying job in the future. The prospect of spending whatever time I have left on this earth as a dishwasher (or whatever unskilled, low-paying job I would be limited to) or collecting SSI is hellish beyond belief. That's simply not good enough for me PERSONALLY and it never has been. I will fight such a fate until my dying breath and if said fate is inevitable, then my own hand might be responsible for my dying breath.