possible hyperlexic\autism spectrum - Mothering Forums
Special Needs Parenting > possible hyperlexic\autism spectrum
MyKiddos's Avatar MyKiddos 03:06 PM 10-02-2011
My son who is almost 2 1/2 knows his alphabet (phonetically, upper&lower), numbers 1-20, colors shapes and is now reading, sounding out words and spelling. We are going to get him evaluated for early intervention just want to see if anyone else had similar experiences.
My son has always been active, even in the womb i felt like i was getting beat up. He likes to jump, run, spin, and climb. He will sit still and watch a show, or play, but he often plays gets up and moves around changing what he is playing with. He really didn't start talking until 26 months; consequential when my daughter was born. He is almost obsessive with his letters, we have a game called bananagrams (similar to Scrabble) and he love to play with them, form words or asking me to make the words for him. He can easily identify over 500+ words (sight words) and can probably spell 100 words. He was doing really well with talking when he first started, he was a parrot. A family friend who is a speech therapist said that he is echoing my words. I didn't not really notice this until she said so. He is using the phrases that my husband and I use constant. He will add in some of his own sentences here and there but most of his speech are phrases "ready, set go" and "great job" and "delicious" "c'mon" ect...
He does have some sensory issues that seem to change depending on his mood. One month he LOVES taking a bath now it's a struggle to get him to take one. He HATES the doctors office, kicking and screaming saying "bye bye...door...car...bye" He also goes crazy when we get his hair cut. Lately doesn't want to wear a shirt. These things seem to change every couple of weeks.
His personality is STUBBORN he was born that way, so there are times he ignores us completely attempting to be deaf, asking him to come sit down for dinner. But if we say come here and have some cookies he will come running. So this aspect is a little hard. He will listen when he wants to listen. I can ask him to go get stuff for me and he will do it successfully, unless he is watching a show or something.
He has always had his "people" that he is drawn to. He does not see his Nana often, so when he sees her he usually follows with "hi nana, bye nana" and tells her no. Does this with a few other people as well. (they all seem to be on the older side?) If he sees kids he will go running towards them, he wants to follow them and do what they do. I have been watching closely to his behavior the last week. We went to his grammy's house there were 3 kids there 10 year old, 7 year old and a 2 year old. He automatically was drawn to the 7 year old she has about the same amount of energy as him. He followed her around, ran with her, jumped with her, colored with her. Then he realized oh there are other kids here, he went up to the 2 year old and said "alex come on run" trying to get everyone involved. When he is excited he sometimes flaps his arms and runs on his tippy toes. When I tell him to do something he doesn't want to do sometimes I see him hitting his right ear a little bit.
He does get frustrated when playing with kids his own age sometimes. If their vocabulary is larger than his and he can't get his point across he throws a fit because they aren't doing what he wants them to do.
Any thoughts? or suggestions?

beachcomber's Avatar beachcomber 03:40 PM 10-02-2011

How is he with other kids?


MyKiddos's Avatar MyKiddos 04:13 PM 10-02-2011
He loves playing with other kids. Any time we are at the playground he screams "kids" and off he goes. Follows them around. He gets frustrated sometimes, i think that may stem with more of a frustration on not being able to tell them what he wants them to do. He often asks me to go to other kids houses and if I respond with not today he usually starts whining. He tends to be gravitated towards older kids 6/7 years old. He tends to ignore younger kids and there are times he could really care less about his little sister. He does still do some parallel play with kids off and does his letters or numbers but if something fun is going on somewhere else wants to go and investigate it.
FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth 07:12 AM 10-03-2011
Some of the social thing is hard to go by with a 2 and a half year old because parallel play is the norm at that age, and there's a lot of variance in social skills. Usually that age you're looking more for reciprocity, like waving back to people, smiling back, showing interest in others, etc. Word echoing can be an ASD thing, especially accompanied by later speech in kids with no hearing issues, and my ASD kid, who is my oldest son (no verbal problems in his case, very typical speech acquisition) did have sensory issues like your son. He was nearly 7 before any stranger, doctor, dentist, hair dresser, etc, could touch him, had to be held down during some check ups. My DS also had other sensory issues around noise (couldn't open even a pop can without the sudden noise upsetting him, vacuum and blender would make him scream, he'll still hum during). OTOH, your son is only 2 and a half, and some kids have more temporary quirks. My youngest son is very positively not on the spectrum (great social skills, flexible and not rigid thinker, no sensory issues, no obsessiveness) and at 7 years old there are no concerns from us, teachers or medical professionals. His speech acquisition was late and strange (no echoing like your son, but invented words he consistently used over the conventional ones, lacked prepositions till nearly age 5, nouns used as verbs, etc) and he was looked at way more closely at a young age than my older son who is on the spectrum, but really didn't seem like anything was off until school age. My youngest son has CAPD and a language based learning disability , but with speech therapy he is close to caught up verbally and completely caught up academically. It's pretty hard to tell how some of these things turn out. I guess I'm saying it sounds like there's enough red flags for you to have cause to be concerned, and that it's good that he's being evaluated by early intervention, but to keep in mind that kids this young can change a lot and very rapidly and it's hard even for those with the professional ability to assess and diagnose to know for sure what things are just developmental and what things indicate a child is on the spectrum unless enough symptoms cluster together.
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 08:17 AM 10-03-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerBeth View Post

I guess I'm saying it sounds like there's enough red flags for you to have cause to be concerned, and that it's good that he's being evaluated by early intervention, but to keep in mind that kids this young can change a lot and very rapidly and it's hard even for those with the professional ability to assess and diagnose to know for sure what things are just developmental and what things indicate a child is on the spectrum unless enough symptoms cluster together.

agreed.

It does sound like he has some sensory stuff going on. I suggest reading "the out of sync child" and "quirky kids."

Good luck.
Viriditas's Avatar Viriditas 12:17 PM 10-03-2011

He sounds a lot like my son, who is now almost 6, hyperlexic and autistic.  That said, at 2 1/2 autism didn't even cross our minds.  We just though he was spirited, quirky, smart.  Neurotypical 2 1/2-year-olds are echolalic, selective listeners, picky about food, etc.  Some things we didn't pick up on back then that were major flags were 

 

-He rarely made eye contact

-He didn't ask questions (still rarely does).  He never went through the "what's that" or the "why" phases.

-He never tried to initiate joint attention (for example, pointing out things he thought were interesting, handing us things he thought were interesting, or looking at something, looking at us, then looking back at the thing to draw our attention to it).  He very rarely pointed at things, and still doesn't.

 

It was when his speech was still very echolalic and formulaic at age 4 and when he still couldn't pay attention or function in large groups of people that we sought intervention. The behavior that seemed to us to be within the "normal" range at 2 or even 3 was more troubling the older he got.


pranava's Avatar pranava 12:35 PM 10-03-2011

 

 

-He rarely made eye contact

-He didn't ask questions (still rarely does).  He never went through the "what's that" or the "why" phases.

-He never tried to initiate joint attention (for example, pointing out things he thought were interesting, handing us things he thought were interesting, or looking at something, looking at us, then looking back at the thing to draw our attention to it).  He very rarely pointed at things, and still doesn't.

 

He sounds very similar to my 2.5 year old DS.  Same reading skills, same sensory issues, lots of echolalia, preference for older kids.  The only difference I see is that my son was verbal very early.  He still repeats a lot, but at least 3/4 of his speech is not repeating - although when he first started talking it was nearly all repeating. He doesn't have any of the stuff above going on. He has been evaluated and we're pretty certain it isn't ASD, just SPD and quirkiness.  It is definitely a hard thing to figure out.


Lollybrat's Avatar Lollybrat 03:13 PM 10-03-2011

My son is 7 and has autism with hyperlexia (among other issues).

 

DS knew shapes (including trapezoid, parallelogram, octogon, etc.) at and colors 20 months. He started using his ABC blocks to spell words (helicopter, emergency, motorcycle, etc) soon after he turned 2. At that age he could follow written directions when we were out and about, like "use other door", "keep off the grass", etc. But DS was still not talking at that age. When we realized that DS could read but not talk, we had to face the fact that his development was not following the usual path. So we contacted Early Intervention and had our ped give us a referal to the developmental pediatrician. This started a 5 month long diagnostic process. DS got an offical diagnosis of autism (with hyperlexia) a week after he turned 3.  

 

DS did not talk until he was almost 3 years old. When he started talking, it was mostly echolalia and scripted speech. Otherwise, he spelled things out insteading of speaking in words. So he would stand in front of the fridge and yell "M-I-L-K!"  He called us "M-O-M" and "D-A-D-D-Y". We had to teach him to talk in words instead of strings of letters.

 

Hyperlexia is an amazing thing. It took everything we thought we know about how kids learn language and threw it out the window. But it is by far our most powerful teaching tool and we make full use of it. We realized early on that DS had great difficulty processing what he heard, but he could process things he read much more easily. Essentially, the written word is his "native language" and verbal languge is like a difficult foreign language to him.  So we used the written word to teach him everything: verbal language, social skills, behavior, self-help skills, etc. Our house is filled with white boards, cue cards, social stories, posters, signs, checklists, etc. We feel so lucky to have this powerful tool to help us communicate with DS.

 

A couple of helpful books about hyperlexia are:

 

When Babies Read: A Practical Guide to Helping Young Children with Hyperlexia, Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

http://www.amazon.com/When-Babies-Read-Hyperlexia-High-Functioning/dp/1843108038/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317668873&sr=1-1

 

Reading Too Soon: How to Understand and Help the Hyperlexic Child

http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Too-Soon-Understand-Hyperlexic/dp/0963792105/ref=pd_sim_b1

 

As others have said, at age 2.5, it can be really hard to see the social impairments of autism. They becaome much more obvious to us as DS grew out of toddlerhood and became a preschooler.

 

 

 

 


KimPM's Avatar KimPM 06:55 PM 10-03-2011
"Hyperlexia is an amazing thing. It took everything we thought we know about how kids learn language and threw it out the window. But it is by far our most powerful teaching tool and we make full use of it. We realized early on that DS had great difficulty processing what he heard, but he could process things he read much more easily. Essentially, the written word is his "native language" and verbal languge is like a difficult foreign language to him. So we used the written word to teach him everything: verbal language, social skills, behavior, self-help skills, etc. Our house is filled with white boards, cue cards, social stories, posters, signs, checklists, etc. We feel so lucky to have this powerful tool to help us communicate with DS."

yeahthat.gif

When my DS was evaluated last year, he took part in a research study that showed his adjusted age level at various things. Turns out that when he reads anything, he understands it as a much older child would. Last year he was 4 3/4, and comprehending the written word as a 10 year-old. By contrast, his listening comprehension was equivalent to only a toddler of 18 months or so. What a difference! That made it quite clear to me that in order for me to get anything across to him, it had to be written down.

So, keep this in mind and see if it helps to use written words along with verbal instructions as your DS grows.

Oh, and my DS is also very stubborn, too. He sure hasn't grown out of that!
FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth 06:31 AM 10-04-2011

My youngest DS isn't hyperlexic, but I did find that once he had assistance with the reading, it brought his expressive language along a lot faster than what speech therapy alone did (in our case there's no receptive language delay).  Reading really helped integrate his grammar skills and for the first time ever he has been able to "hear words in his head", but only when he reads.  Before, he only saw pictures, and the speech therapy was to train him how to retrieve the word that matched the mental picture.  Anyway, while my experience is different, I definitely agree with the above posters that however everything turns out with EI and no matter how he develops and changes (which could be a lot at 2 and a half), if reading is a strength for him you could definitely use it as a tool to bring along his language.  Working with a kid's strengths is a good way to go, whether kids are special needs or neuro typical.


Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 07:51 AM 10-04-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by KimPM View Post

"Hyperlexia is an amazing thing. It took everything we thought we know about how kids learn language and threw it out the window. But it is by far our most powerful teaching tool and we make full use of it. We realized early on that DS had great difficulty processing what he heard, but he could process things he read much more easily. Essentially, the written word is his "native language" and verbal languge is like a difficult foreign language to him. So we used the written word to teach him everything: verbal language, social skills, behavior, self-help skills, etc. Our house is filled with white boards, cue cards, social stories, posters, signs, checklists, etc. We feel so lucky to have this powerful tool to help us communicate with DS."
yeahthat.gif
When my DS was evaluated last year, he took part in a research study that showed his adjusted age level at various things. Turns out that when he reads anything, he understands it as a much older child would. Last year he was 4 3/4, and comprehending the written word as a 10 year-old. By contrast, his listening comprehension was equivalent to only a toddler of 18 months or so. What a difference! That made it quite clear to me that in order for me to get anything across to him, it had to be written down.
So, keep this in mind and see if it helps to use written words along with verbal instructions as your DS grows.
Oh, and my DS is also very stubborn, too. He sure hasn't grown out of that!


nod.gif Ds' eval showed a 15pt difference between his ability to understand verbally and understand what is written.

 


rote's Avatar rote 03:39 PM 11-08-2011

Aspects (not all) sound like my son, he is 5.3 years and has Autism and Hyperlexia. My sons Autism was diagnosed when he was 3, and hyperlexia was not diagnosed until approx a year later, so it was like learning a second 'new' thing for us, after learning about his Autism, it was a whole new thing to learn about and understand.

 


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