Fans, friends, and everybody have been talking about the altercation between Chris Rock and Will Smith. While it was visible that Rock didn’t budge when Will came up and slapped him, many people didn’t understand why he didn’t come back defensively.
It could be because Rock didn’t understand what was going on at the moment, seriously. A couple of years ago he shared that he suffered from a learning disorder.
Comedian Chris Rock The 55-year-old comedian opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about his nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD) and how it’s affected his day-to-day life.
Rock has been doing seven hours of therapy a week since a friend suggested that he may have Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum with generally higher functioning. The actor went through nine hours of cognitive tests and was eventually diagnosed with NVLD, which makes it difficult for him to understand nonverbal signals.
“All I understand are the words,” he said.
He explained that he can take things “too literally” and has an “all-or-nothing thinking,” as The Hollywood Reporter described it.
“By the way, all of those things are really great for writing jokes — they’re just not great for one-on-one relationships,” he added. “I’d always just chalked it up to being famous. Any time someone would respond to me in a negative way, I’d think, ‘Whatever, they’re responding to something that has to do with who they think I am.’ Now, I’m realizing it was me. A lot of it was me.”
What Is Non-Verbal Learning Disorder
The name “non-verbal learning disorder” is confusing; it suggests that those with NVLD do not speak, but quite the opposite is true. Approximately 93 percent of communication is non-verbal — body language, facial expressions, tone of voice. Those with NVLD have trouble interpreting this non-verbal language, relying on the seven percent of communication that is verbal to understand what others mean. Once considered highly rare, NVLD may also be as prevalent as dyslexia — though the high incidence of missed diagnoses makes it difficult to estimate its true impact. We do know that NLD affects girls just as frequently as it does boys, and tends to run in families, like most other learning disabilities.
Symptoms of NVLD
NLD varies from person to person and is not defined as a separate condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Volume 5 (DSM-V). However, commonly reported symptoms include the following: