“[I took] a battery of tests, like nine hours of tests,” he said of the assessment, which he initially predicted would reveal Asperger’s.
“They came back and said, ‘You don’t have Asperger’s, but you have something very close to it, and it’s called NVLD, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder.”
According to Newsday, individuals with NVLD are often very intelligent and verbal but struggle to read body language and facial expressions — as do people with Asperger’s.
In his View appearance, Rock delved into how the disorder affects his relationships.
“One of the things is I have a hard time picking up social cues,” he said. “Like when I talk to people, I hear the words, but if you’re mad at me, if you’re feeling a certain way, I might have a hard time picking that up.”
The 55-year-old comedian highlighted his friendships with fellow comic Susie Essman and The View co-host and comedian Joy Behar, who noticed his struggles years before his diagnosis.
“Every now and then Joy and Susie Essman would pull me to the side and kind of give me an etiquette lesson,” he said.
Rock first revealed the discovery last week during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. During the discussion, he claimed that the disorder has been a boon for his joke writing but a hindrance to his personal relationships. But Rock said he used to believe that people responding to him negatively due to the disorder were doing so because of his fame. Given his diagnosis, he explained he realizes much of these reactions were created by his own behavior.
The Fargo star said he has been seeing two therapists to help him better understand the limitations created by his disorder.
Rock also revealed that he struggled with anxiety before his NVLD diagnosis, which he believes exacerbated some of his behavior. Now, he claims his previous frantic energy has subsided.
Rock has never had qualms about being open about his life struggles. As The Inquisitr reported, he previously used his Total Blackout comedy tour to touch on his divorce from his ex-wife of 16 years and the pornography addiction that he believes was the root cause of the split. According to Rock, his addiction made it difficult for him to pick up on social cues and look individuals in the eye.
The actor’s childhood was also explored in the show Everybody Hates Chris.