Do you know what this is? 2 days ago I had no idea and then while reading my current issue of Newsweek I managed to come across an article entitled “The Child You Didn’t Dream Of” written by Priscilla Gilman.
After reading the first 2 paragraphs, my heart rate sped up and I started tearing. All this time and the answer is right here in an issue of Newsweek??? Are you kidding me right now? I read the whole article and completely broke down. The article was about Priscilla’s son Benjamin who has Hyperlexia and now I know that my daughter has it too.
For the last 5 months, my daughter has been seeing a Speech, Occupational and Sensory Therapist. When she turned 2 she was not up to speed in Speech to where she should be. They told us at 18 months she wasn’t then but we waited until she was 2 to get some help from Early Childhood Intervention (ECI).
When my daughter started Speech Therapy she knew maybe 10 words but within a month she was saying her ABC’s. We thought it was such an improvement. Then she moved on to counting. Abc’s and 123’s are what she loves, or so I thought. Right now, she can recite her ABC’s and also if given letters put them in order forwards and backwards. She can count to 20 forwards and backwards as well. If given numbers she can put them in order just like the letters. We thought she was just bright. We thought that she was smart and that was why her social skills were just not up to par. She was tested for Autism and nothing came of it. But her therapists were just not sure.
After reading the article, I called her Speech Therapist and told her what I read. She told me that I was right on, Abby had Hyperlexia and we would talk about it at our next session. Now, I don’t want this post to go on forever because right now I could just keep going and going.
Here is what I found out online:
Children with hyperlexia may recite the alphabet as early as 18 months, and have the ability to read words by age two and sentences by age three. Many are overly fascinated with books, letters, and numbers. Often their ability is looked at in a positive light, so many parents delay their children receiving help because they believe that their child may be a struggling genius. – http://www.k12academics.com/disorders-disabilities/hyperlexia
Some experts believe that most or perhaps all children with hyperlexia lie on the autism spectrum. However, some other experts believe the involvement of autism in hyperlexia is completely dependent on the type of hyperlexia. Between 5-10% of children with autism have been estimated to be hyperlexic. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlexia
I don’t want to sound melodramatic or like my daughter having Hyperlexia is life or death. I don’t know, now that there is a name for what she has…it just seems worse. Now she is a statistic…a number. We thought she was unique that she knew so much for such a young child but now it comes out that it is just faulty wiring? Maybe I am in shock or something I don’t know. I just feel very strange. If I come out of this funk and regret this post I will just delete it later.
But I would like to find someone that knows about it or knows someone that has it. Even if you know of books, websites, or whatever. Please share it here in the comments. I feel like I have to understand this condition even though it really makes no sense to me right now.