Hello and welcome to my blog. I'm no expert on hyperlexia but I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about this disorder over the last few years. My son Will, who is now 5, has this disorder and my research has revealed so little information that I felt compelled to generate a current source for parents who are just learning about hyperlexia for the first time as well as providing a place for those with a diagnosis of hyperlexia to gather. In the months since I started this blog I have found many other moms who are also sharing their experiences. Visit the blog roll to visit their blogs and learn about their amazing stories too. Please contribute.. it's easy! Just click on the comments link at the bottom of a post and share your own experiences.
Thanks again! =)
Wow.. two months since I posted! I have whole chapters to write! Since my last posting we've moved across the country and found a fabulous new life waiting for our family. William is settling into his new school very well.. the shake up may have thwarted advancement.. but it was only temporary! He is verbalizing requests and working so hard on helping us to understand what his needs and wants are. We are all so excited for the progress he is making. I can't even begin to imagine what the near future holds. Stay tuned!
Will is beside himself with anticipation that the start to the school year for him is very near. He's not too happy right now though as his big sister is already getting to ride the bus and participate in all the amazing things that go on there. You see.. the preschool system here starts later.. and it's been hard for him to accept. That coupled with the cooler temperatures and last summer visits from friends he doesn't usually get to see have him antsy.. and me too.
I'm excited for him and all he will learn this upcoming year. Big changes at the school too.. he'll be back with one of the teachers that were in the group that were the first to introduce him to the structure of school.. so there's that familiarity to guide him. But for now he's certainly had enough of this summer loafing.. and it's high time to get back into his routines.
"It's William!" was his response when he saw himself in a picture just a few moments ago. Wow.
Me: "Who is that?" Will: "It's Mommy."
Me: "Who is that?" Will: "It's Sara."
Four years, 10 months, and 19 days to answer a W question. Written words cannot convey the enthusiasm and praise these responses produced. Huge progress this summer. I can't wait to see how he progresses over the upcoming school year.
The other day Will pulled my glasses off my face and put them on his own. He squinted as he tried to make sense of the altered images now focusing on his own retinas. I couldn't help but wonder if they were helping him. We've already learned his big sister has some visual deficiencies.. so logic would dictate William certainly might as well. But then I got to thinking about how on earth could we ever determine which prescription would be the best ones to correct his vision. It wouldn't be possible to get him to respond to the typical barrage of questions the optometrist would throw at him.. so how indeed?
It occurred to me that he could do it all on his own. He's so capable in so many ways other than verbal communication and it doesn't take him long to pick up on the idea behind a new task. I thought perhaps we could just put him in front of a table with various lenses on it and he'd try them all out, selecting the proper ones.. then properly use the provided tools to assemble them into the frame.. put them on and then walk out the door as if nothing even remotely unusual had just transpired.
Now to find an optometrist willing to give a four year old his tray of lenses to play with.. hmmmm.......
In his usual fashion, Will came up to me today and shoved against my hip. When I turned to ask him what I could do for him he pulled me down and said "kiss me". So I did. Big smooches right on the cheek. With that he was content and moved on to his next planned activity. Yay for kisses!
I've never seen Will laugh so hard. It's a good thing he wasn't drinking milk at the time because he would surely have had it coming out of his nose. The kids have been watching Rugrats In Paris.. silly movie but the six year old seems to like it.. and there is tolerance on the part of the other two.. so it gets played at least once a day for the last week, it would seem. Within the movie there are several high energy songs.. somebody obviously spent a considerable effort assembling the soundtrack for this little kids film, and this is a major motivating factor in me putting the movie on. One of the songs is Baha Men's Who Let The Dogs Out. On the DVD they included the video for the song as an extra. So there's been exposure to this song over the last week. No harm done.
Enter youtube. Tonight the kids were browsing for WordGirl and Cyberchase episodes and it occurred to me that the video for Who Let The Dogs Out must be somewhere on youtube.. after all.. just about everything can be found on youtube these days. So I ran the search and sure enough a couple of options came up front and center. One of them was obviously done by someone who doesn't understand what an aspect ratio is and how to set one correctly when producing analog to digital conversions and so I moved on to the other video that was near the top that appeared to fill the screen completely. Little did I realize at the time why the time of the video was less than the other.. but the artisan who produced this video had selectively sped up the audio on select areas of the video. So, unsuspecting, we begin to watch and ignore the horrible video quality.. but the audio plays fine and on it goes. Then the chorus hits and all of a sudden "who let the dogs out" is being questioned by none other than the Chipmunks. I thought it mildly amusing but this little four year old boy laughed harder than I've ever seen him laugh at anything before. We just had to run it a few more times.. but it's easily been an hour since the last play and he's still wandering around the house laughing out loud and giggling about the whole thing.. and singing the chorus on his own between fits of laughter. If you haven't played this for your kid you must try it. They deserve to laugh that hard too. Look for the version published by dohnut10.
I understood a long time ago that my little wonder boy wasn't going to be developing along "typical" time lines. That's okay.. but it doesn't stop me from having the highest hopes for his happiness. When my little 4.75 year old dragged me to the corner this morning, globe ball in hand, and told me to stay there I was curious as to what was up. He then turned, took 3 steps away from me, turned back to face me and tossed me the ball. I then tossed the ball back to him.. and he caught it! Our little volley lasted no fewer than 10 round trips at which point our little game of catch was disrupted by his big sister. Now this might not seem like an activity worth writing about to most of you.. but to me.. who wondered if the day might ever come.. I am again astounded.
A couple of years ago we got this great little log cabin building set as a gift for Will and, although he enjoyed immensely watching any of the rest of us put it together, he had not yet ventured into actually assembling the cabin himself. We hadn't had it down off the top shelf in quite a while and so when he pulled me to the shelf yesterday and said "log" I thought that was sufficient to reward him with the toy. We set up a spot in the middle of the living room floor where we could work with it. It's cute.. just a little cabin with one door and a window.. and after assembled he will often put various figures in there.. you know.. because they fit. I think our school bus driver from this toy has been in there a lot.. and I'm certain fireman Elmo has also had his share of incarceration play time in the camp. Occasionally various cows and a giraffe will tend watch in the yard outside..
It's really just a 3D puzzle.. and a bit more complex than the jigsaw puzzles he's been so good at doing all on his own for years now. But there is a bit of thinking ahead involved in putting it together. Regardless, he's attached himself to this old toy in a big way and is having a blast putting it together.. and then tearing it down.. and then starting all over again.
Oh.. and I've definitely noticed a reduction in his verbal stims over the last couple of days.. lots going on in that brain of his right now..
I had my hair pulled this afternoon. Not just your ordinary hair pulling, mind you, this hair pulling had purpose! Never one to shoot down my son's behaviors without an attempt at comprehension I went along with it.. although I do believe a small "ouch" may have been uttered in protest. What followed was astounding. William directed my lips to his finger.. which he had just injured.. albeit very mildly.. and wanted Mommy to kiss it better. Yay for hair pulling!
The rain falling this morning was anything but light.. more like a deluge. And with that deluge comes a sick little boy. He crashed early last night on the sofa and when I went to move him to bed I could feel his fever. I hate to wake him up with a medicine treatment but it had to be done..
So he gets the grape stuff.. to which he didn't protest too much.. he must really have felt bad.
Somewhere along about midnight or 1am I hear him.. he's wide awake.. in a pretty good mood.. and belting out words I've never heard him say before.. and occasionally giggling. It's not the first time I've noticed a connection between pain relievers and new words.. I wonder if "they" have ever studied it..
As I watched my little wonder boy lay in front of the furnace vent and gaze out the window at the endless rain falling I realized he is seeing his world this morning much the same as he has since his life began. He was peaceful, still waking up, and the dancing drops as the unbroken light rain gathered forces and dripped off the rooftop must have captured his attention completely, much as I recall being mesmerized by the rain as a child. The brightly lit droplets joining together on the end of the branch hanging just outside the glass were hypnotic.. and the option of refocusing the eyes to the waiting puddle below, infinite splashes contributing to its size, made for more visual stimulation than any small child could ever hope for first thing in the morning.
As I gazed upon my wonder boy gazing upon the simple force of nature we call rain I realized that it is my perception of the world that has shifted, albeit ever so slightly. Yesterday I had an uncommon opportunity to meet with Will's teacher. She and I had talked about how I would cherish the chance to watch him in his classroom environment.. his interaction with the other children.. his level of participation.. and distraction. But other obligations had held this experience from me. This amazing woman then told me she had made a video tape of Will in class and extended an invitation to meet with me at the school to view it. On that brief 30 minute recording I saw a happy little boy, struggling to be part of the group, willing his own instinctive behavior into submission so that he could participate in these beloved activities. I saw a child who was taking it all in, organizing every detail into its appropriate place, sure to be drawn upon in a future need. I saw a child who seemed more aware of his enormous challenge than even I. But most importantly, I saw a child who was clearly autistic.
It's been years since our family began this journey of discovery with our son. That journey has led us to knowledge and understanding, to grief and pain, to acceptance and fortitude. But observing him there, in his own separate world, working through it all under the talented guidance of these skilled artists, was like being hit by a freight train. I awoke from my denial in that brief time and came to see that even though he does not display many of the "classic" behaviors so commonly associated with autism, many of his behaviors fit the mold perfectly. And like the many variations in the dance playing out just beyond the window pane this morning there are equally as many variations in the children we label as autistic.. yet they are all amazing.
Will sat quietly on the kitchen floor for an unusual amount of time this morning. I was busy preparing food for the younger one and wasn't too distraught.. a few minutes of calm is a nice change. But then I moved into his immediate area and he was up.. and in his hand.. nay extending out BEYOND the edges of his hand.. was a giant wolf spider! In hindsight he may have been wanting to show it to me.. look mom.. lookie lookie what I found! all full of excitement.. But I, instead of showing a calm genuine interest in his new found toy, totally lost it. I'm generally not terrified of spiders.. my 6 year old daughter is.. she insists on spider patrol before she'll agree to go to bed.. and we are routinely removing smaller less dangerous ones that I wouldn't have a problem with hanging out and hatching a brood right in the corners of my bedroom. But this one.. it was HUGE! And, in my own defense, even the experts state..
"the bite of the Wolf Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Although non-aggressive, they bite freely if provoked and should be considered dangerous to humans. The bite may be very painful. First aid and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible, particularly as to children or the elderly."
So who am I to argue with the experts? My reaction may have been a tad overblown but getting that spider out of his little hand and into a secure zone was primary on my task list. He gently placed it upon a shirt hanging over the chair at the kitchen table.. but my screaming at the top of my lungs (AAAAHHH NOOOOO NOOOO PUT IT DOWWWWN!!!) apparently startled my little boy and he thought his new friend would be safer BACK IN HIS HAND!! and so he lovingly picked up the giant demon spider off the shirt. This of course was followed by even more screaming by me.. NO!! PUT IT DOWN!! AHHHHH!!! I was then successful in knocking it to the floor.. where it ran and hid under my purse. Ih...
Mere seconds after it had all begun Daddy had arrived on the battlefield and was ready to assist. Move the purse.. squish. Will was genuinely distraught. One lethal spider.. his new found friend.. terminated. Guess it beats squishing a bunny.. but I can't help but wonder what sort of lasting impression this event, played out entirely by instinct, might leave on this little boy..
Will was recently exposed to the wonder of maps at preschool. He's always had access to various types of maps.. from a simple laminated place mat to the big USA floor puzzle that he got for his birthday a couple of years ago. But somehow this exposure at school brought this interest to life and it's all he cares about now. If he's not putting together the puzzle.. or carrying the place mat around the yard.. he's eyeing more complex maps in the various books he has at his disposal. It's amazing. How many 4 year olds know all their state capitols? How many can point out all the states on a map when asked? Will has magnificent powers of memory.. perhaps this will be one of his splinter skills and he'll wind up as a cartographer. I cherish the times we can play this game.. he brings me his USA map place mat and we begin.. Where's Vermont? He points right to it.. doesn't have to think for even a second. Where's Sacramento? This goes on for an hour. He knows them all.. how many 40 year olds know all their state capitols? I'd venture to guess not that many. And here this little 4 year old boy, this amazing little creature who surprises me daily, knows them all.
I always thought of myself as a quick study.. I could watch somebody do something just once and that was it.. I could do it too. When it came to the kids, though, it was a different story, even with the simplest things. But just this morning I grabbed a cup and flipped it over and drew a perfect circle using it. He had it down. He knew he had to put pressure on the lightweight plastic cup to keep it from slipping away. He knew not to apply too much pressure on the pencil or risk it pushing the cup away. He drew a perfect circle. I was so proud of him and, more importantly, he was proud of himself. =)
Yeah, team! Somewhere between the fun activities at preschool, and the humdrum life at home, my little wonder boy has learned to catch and throw a ball! He's helping to roll out the big rug with all the great alphabet letters on it.. he's participating in the scheduled activities in class. He's amazing.. and advancing every day. Look out world!
Well I don't really know how to say it other than this was a bad day. Sometimes he just can't see the corners, the balance is off.. the head swings a little too close to the door frame.. or the counter.. and boom! Thankfully, they've all been minor scrapes not even really breaking the skin.. but still.. a lot of crying and pain that no kid should have to put up with. I can't help but wonder what it is that puts his equilibrium out of whack so that these mishaps come one on top of the other like this.. perhaps it's just that he's still trying to get over this cold and his perception is off. On the other hand.. he managed to catch himself with cat-like balance in a spot where any other kid would surely have plummeted into pain.
That is the motto of the "new" preschool. New facility, new teacher, new classmates.. lots going on to shake up a 4 year old. So.. it's been a busy few weeks. Everyone seems to be settling in to this new schedule all right. Funny how in thinking about this theme it occurred to me that he IS a lot more independent than before this experience at school. In a lot of ways he holds it together better than his NT brother and sister.. he certainly handles stress better. So.. we're working toward independence. Still not verbally communicating but there are other ways he's getting his message across. Stay tuned...
Now, granted, I cheated. I'd had a situation last week where he read aloud (as he usually does) a request I wanted him to make verbally. Always trying to get him to use his words.. and it had worked surprisingly well. He'd actually strapped himself into a booster seat and was walking around the kitchen with this contraption strapped to his backside and trying to get me to open it up for him so he could strap himself back into it and do it all over again. So, after asking him verbally to say "open please" about 4 times I wrote it on a piece of paper. He said it. I praised him and told him that wasn't so hard to do and look.. I opened it. He then continued to verbally make the request as he played his game. So yes, when the thought crossed my mind I thought it might be a fun experiment. I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote "I love you Mommy". He read it aloud once and then modified it. He said "I love you too Mommy". I actually cried. He's 4 years and 5 months.. and he finally said it. =) I want to believe he generated the sentiment internally and was sincere but even if he simply pulled it from his vast database I can't complain.
Next week my son is being moved from the preschool classroom where he has been since he started school. The preschool is being inundated with new enrollees (gee.. you think this stuff is on the rise??) and so the class sizes are continually growing. Next year the whole preschool will be moved to the other school but for the rest of this year they're moving just some of the kids into this "new" classroom. I would imagine some of the kids who will now be his classmates will be new.. and he'll have a new teacher, too. It's a shame on a lot of fronts as he's gotten to know the people he's been with, his teachers and classmates, quite well over the last 3 months. He's learned better sharing and better communication. He's even learned to use the potty! And all of that is going to be disrupted. Yet, on many levels, I think it's a good thing. He's actually moving to the school and classrooms that he'll be in once he gets to Kindergarten and through the rest of his elementary schooling. He'll have the opportunity to see that, even though some things change, some things stay the same. His new teacher may be even better than his first.. although that's hard to imagine. And in the past, every time he has been challenged by new and unfamiliar events and subjects he has evolved in ways that went beyond the expected growth for that experience. But, for now, he's been screaming a lot more than he usually does. I can't help but wonder if it's because he knows something "big" is about to happen and his life will be turned upside down.. if just for a little while. It won't take him long to settle in to the new routine. But I'm afraid for him for the journey.
Why is it important? Why can't non-communicative persons just be allowed to be? Well I, for one, don't think that's a very healthy mindset. No man is an island and CERTAINLY no four year old is one either. I am amazed daily at my son's emerging abilities when it comes to communication. My son has been very verbal since he was a baby. Some days I feel like he won't shut up. But there's never been much purpose in his constant chatter.. other than perhaps to refine his speech. So many times I've asked him what he wants. Noodles? French fries? Scrambled eggs? Waffles? Juice? Milk? I ask and I ask but I get this blank stare in response. He just doesn't seem to understand that there's a question there that needs to be answered. He's slowly evolving the ability to use picture cards to indicate what he wants but even that's spotty at best. I'm lucky I guess in that I'm reasonably perceptive and can often figure out what he wants. It's a little like caring for an infant. Hungry? Thirsty? Wet? Sleepy? You just sort of go through the checklist. And I've learned that this may be the extent to which he interacts with me when it comes to getting what he wants. But his babbling has evolved. His seemingly pointless barrage of words is starting to have purpose. I just have to be listening carefully enough. Dare I hope that this is just the beginning?
I can't remember a time when my wonder boy wasn't fascinated by bubbles. He wouldn't run off and disappear when I or his big sister were blowing bubbles. He would stay.. engrossed.. and pop every one he could manage to get near. He loves to watch them float up and soar to the tree tops. He loves to watch them settle on top of each other, not popping, and try to make them pop. I'm certain he's analyzing their physical properties and has determined there's such a thing as surface tension and that's why wet fingers are no good for popping. I've gotten pretty good at it too and can now blow bubbles within bubbles.. which I and he think is pretty neat. Today we had an opportunity to blow bubbles for a bit and he enjoyed it as much as ever. He even blew a few bubbles of his own!
I recently attended a meeting sponsored by my school district, the point of which is to provide me with the tools, materials and expertise to have my child ready to enter Kindergarten. It would seem many children fall well below the "average" upon entry to Kindergarten and those who enter below tend to stay below their classmates until much later in their school career. So they're trying to get these kids to enter at an average level or above in order to give them an edge for their entire school run, not just Kindergarten. At this meeting the topic of subtitles came up and I commented about how great I thought they are and how they can really help someone struggling to learn a language. I got a couple of strange looks but I think I made my point. But you likely weren't there so I will reiterate. These kids ARE learning another language.. the language of verbal communication. My son at least is very capable of reading the subtitles that scroll across the bottom of his favorite movies and he definitely uses them to help him understand what's going on. My other 2 kids have to suffer through them but I secretly hope that perhaps just a smidgen of the information there will rub off and help them to become better readers. So.. if you can.. turn on those subtitles!
My father-in-law mentioned it one day. Does my son have any savant abilities? You mean, besides reading at a 3rd grade level at the age of 4? Well.. I guess not.. or at least we don't know YET. So today I'm helping my daughter prepare her valentines for her kindergarten classmates and I thought I'd cut out a few hearts for him to play with and color. Here I thought they might help to keep him busy. But instead he took the remainder of the paper and drew the most amazing school bus. So maybe he does =)
Big goings on here in the household. My oldest celebrated her 6th birthday today so she's having a great time. Funny how my son refused to eat the chocolate cake.. which is usually his favorite. You just never know. He had fun doing her new puzzle.. he's pretty good at them.. and of course he's already reading the story books we got her. I picked up an alphabet desk for him so he wouldn't feel left out but so far it hasn't been necessary. He's gotten to the point where he's happy to watch the activities going on around him. He even clapped when we were done singing the Happy Birthday song! His teacher tells me he's starting to sing along with the class when it's music time in school. Baby steps. He's made a lot of progress in the three months since he started preschool. He's even using the toilet! And that was a day I was expecting to be very far off.
I've seen these Leap Pad Learning Systems in the store and thought that they might be something all my kids would enjoy.. but Stinky Pete was right and children DO destroy toys.. so I have resisted spending the money that would bring one of these into my home. But here I was at the thrift store not long ago and they had one of these.. a "My First Leap Pad" complete with the cartridge and book for only $2.00! I looked it over as it appeared to be in pretty good shape. One element of this particular system that I really like is that it doesn't rely on contact switches to work. You just hover the "pen" over the selection and it magically works! So what that means is that there's no reason to push at all.. let alone hard enough to damage the book or the pad. So I got it. I took it home and it was such a huge hit that I went over to eBay and bought a bunch more books & cartridges. It's really helping my son with his vocalizations as he can hover over words and pictures and have a reasonable sounding voice say what they are. My 2 year old son loves it as well as he's able to operate it and learn more about letters and their sounds, counting, shapes and colors. Just a great toy. So.. I'm just here to recommend these. I don't work for the company or for any retailer from whom you could purchase these and I'm not trying to "make a sale" in any way, but.. if you have a child struggling with verbal communication and can get your hands on one of these I highly recommend them! It's already helped tremendously in a very short time!
OK.. here goes. Twice last week my son's preschool sent home a note that stated quite matter-of-factly that one of the other children in the class had head lice. Included with this very polite note was a very professional set of instructions of what I'm supposed to do to ensure that any potential new infestation is kept under control. And of course he has very long hair because there's no way he's sitting still for me to cut his hair and so what cutting gets done must be done when he's asleep. But that's another post. His teacher assured me they hadn't found any on him but were informing me of the potential, regardless. Anyway.. for now I'm all freaked out about the whole lice thing and just kind of living in denial hoping that this would be something that would bypass us (and my 2 other kids) and we could go on with our lives as if nothing had happened at all. Then the most amazing thing happened this morning. My son brought me a tissue and MADE ME TAKE IT from him. It wasn't good enough that I might just take it from him in a normal manner.. this transfer of object HAD PURPOSE! Now about then I happened to look at him directly and noticed that he had a spot on his head where the hair had been mussed into oblivion.. you know.. the sort of thing that could only have been caused by the repeated rubbing of a tissue into that spot. Now.. I find it all too easy to dismiss the strange behaviors of this odd little 4 year old boy.. but something compelled me to look more closely at this tissue that I'd been quite forcefully given possession of. And there it was. Despite my pleas to the lice gods I and my family had been sucked into this vortex of hell. Now.. this is new to me but my googling (is that a word?) showed me that it's not really anything to be too upset about and we'll just have to stay on top of it.. but the fascinating part of it all is that this kid, with whom I am unable to have a verbal conversation of any kind (other than reading books out loud) had not only figured out what was going on but how to remove it on his own, thereby resolving the immediate problem without any help from me. He never ceases to amaze me! You'll have to excuse me.. I'm off to wash my hair! =)
So one day I'm browsing around on the internet and I landed on a blog that I read regularly and got to thinking how great it was that there was this place that people with the same interests could gather and read up on what's going on in each others lives. I thought about how cool it would be to have such a place that was dedicated to the topic of hyperlexia as I'd had a bit of trouble finding such a place before. And later that day, in an almost magical way, I had it suggested to me that I start my own. And so this blog was born. My hope for this venue is that you can come and learn and contribute your experiences as well to make it a richer place for all of us. We each have learned on our own a tremendous amount about this disorder and sharing that knowledge is key if we're going to do all we can to help those we love. I've had it shown to me that little, seemingly insignificant experiences can have a tremendous impact on the growth and emergence of other, seemingly unrelated elements of development. So let's all share a little and maybe we can help each other to grow. In that spirit of sharing I'd like to send out a great big "thank you" and provide a link that you may find useful if you or anyone you love is struggling with an autism related disorder.
Another example of my son's early reading abilities came in his reaction to the end credits of a movie. Now granted, they usually are accompanied by the music score from the film, which in itself might be enough to get him to come running, but he loves to watch the credits roll by! When he was younger, around 2, we would joke that they were his favorite part of the movie. I've heard other parents of hyperlexic kids say the same thing so here we have yet another example of the unique behaviors that go hand in hand with this disorder. I love to hear him blurt out things like "Production Designer" or "In Between Artist". Those certainly are not words he's been hearing anywhere.. what a kick!
Well it finally happened. I've learned to accept that my son doesn't say "I love you, Mommy" like most 4 year olds should.. but when he planted a kiss square on my lips the other day it made all my waiting worth it. He's always loved to be hugged and his favorite place is on Mommy or Daddy's lap.. but a kiss? I never thought I'd see the day! And to have 10 kisses in a row.. well it was just more than my little heart could take and it just melted. =)
It's sometimes hard to play with my son as he doesn't really interact in a "typical" way. He has yet to learn how to catch a ball.. but we're working on it. He's bored with his letter blocks and doesn't really like playing with the refrigerator magnets too much anymore. But we recently found a great game that he LOVES! On a doodle pad or even just a piece of paper we'll write a word leaving out a letter or two, depending on the length of the word and its complexity. He'll fill in the missing letter(s) and then say the word. Try it and let me know how yours did. =)
Even as an infant my son was always picky about the foods he would accept. He spent his 2nd year surviving on almost nothing but a strawberry yogurt and milk concoction that we mixed up. And even now he'll only eat potatoes if they're fried.. not mashed or boiled or roasted.. has to be fried. He is finally accepting apple slices and raisins but he still doesn't eat any vegetable other than peas.. and even those are spotty. His teacher says I shouldn't complain too badly.. she has other kids who will only eat 2 foods! So I won't complain. But it does seem to be another common trait among this group. What I have found about this is that you just never know what he'll accept. I've had him eat spicy Thai food and just this morning he had a few bites of my homemade orange rolls, which he has never even ventured to try before! So if yours is a picky eater just keep trying stuff.. they surprise you!
In my case my son wasn't talking by 18 months so we started to do the preliminary research. I learned about late talkers. I learned about autism. I learned about all kinds of things that didn't really fit. My child wasn't violent. He didn't have tantrums or bang his head into the wall. He didn't rock. He didn't sort or line up toys. Despite all of these "didn'ts" there were a few things that did fit with autism. He didn't respond to his name. He never pointed and he loved to spin the wheels on toy cars. It was this fascination with spinning things that led me back into the world of autism disorders when, by the age of 2, he still hadn't begun to communicate with us. I still didn't buy the "A" label as there were so many components of that disorder that didn't fit.. not the least of which was that this kid LOVED to be held. Any personal interaction was welcomed with wide open arms. Then one day I stumbled on a page that referred to a disorder by the name of hyperlexia. This seemed to fit. I had never really considered his fascination with letters and numbers as a potential sign as his older sister was a very precocious girl and was indeed reading at the age of 2. She was also talking to us and behaving like a "neuro-typical" child so we had no concerns for her development. But it would seem that in his case it was very important indeed. Thus began the search to learn more about this splinter.
Some say hyperlexia is a type of autism. Some say hyperlexia is it's own unique disorder and should not be placed under the "A" umbrella. Regardless, it is a developmental disorder manifesting in the remarkable ability of very young children to read. Hyperlexic children are typically fascinated by letters and will often recite letter names as their first words. All of this would be fine if it were not for the varying degrees of limitations in social and communicative abilities that so commonly accompany this amazing skill. It is this similarity to some autistic traits that leads some to believe that it's just a form of autism.
Hello! Please bear with me as I get all my information together. In my efforts to find information on Hyperlexia I have found that some of the forums out there haven't been updated for a long time and there was no good place to go to learn about this disorder. The blog format seems to be a good answer to that problem. Lurk, post, share.. but whatever you do please learn and help others to learn who may benefit from this blog. Thank you again for coming!