Hyperlexia – I’ve Still Got It

I’ve always been hyperlexic. My verbal comprehension has improved greatly since I was a child, despite my auditory processing difficulties. Even though things are much better – I’ll always be  hyperlexic.

It’s a good thing I LOVE reading.

Hyperlexia is a syndrome that is characterized by a child’s precocious ability to read (far above what would be expected at their age), significant difficulty in understanding and using verbal language (or a profound nonverbal learning disability) and significant problems during social interactions.

Hyperlexia – CSLD – www.csld.org/HyperlexiaDefinition.htm

It is beyond frustrating to have so much to say and not be able to express things in face to face conversations. When I try to talk it’s as if I know the information but my brain is holding back the words.

My arguments are ineffective and unpersuasive and the words come out making me sound uneducated and shy. I cannot beg or force the words. Nothing helps the words are unavailable to me.

I am not the person people see in these moments – I am the voice behind my keyboard.

The thoughts and information is still inside, even when I cannot express it as you stand in front of me.

I am so grateful for my keyboard. I am so happy that I learned to type and write in school. This has turned my Hyperlexia into more of a blessing . I am so grateful to have found my words.


63 thoughts on “Hyperlexia – I’ve Still Got It”

  1. i literally never learned how to read. but i started using the command line at age 4. still undiagnosed! (hey its probably just magic or something.)

    you know we live in the dark ages when people ignore hyperlexia and dont know what dysgraphia is, and still think everyone has “a.d.d.” — not that you cant have co-morbidity with a.d.d., but c’mon! (and co-morbidity with what? magic, obviously! https://media.giphy.com/media/Kbf2qa2WO3Dxu/giphy.gif)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol! No kidding! Because I was hyperlexic, my mom insisted I was “too smart” any time teachers suggested that I might be having problems. They even put me in special ed for reading despite my mother telling them that I already knew how to read. I just couldn’t read out loud in front of my bullies, I mean peers, in class. I was afraid of the other children not illiterate. For some reason I couldn’t tell anyone my real problems ever. I remember adults making up my problems for mw.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I am a 57 going on 58 years old woman who was diagnosed as being hyperlexic when I was around 6 or 7 years of ages back in the 60’s,I was also born with cerebral palsy and did not walk until I was around 3 or 4 years of age, I often wonder if I may have autistic tendencies, I don’t like crowds and I find it difficult in certain social situations to express myself. I have been diagnosed as minimal brain injury and am a slow learner. Is it at all possible I have autism?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s interesting. I have actually typed a list to take with me because I struggle to get my words out but reading early and way above average is on there. Unfortunately, my parents are no longer here to verify it..

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I’m sorry your parents are not here. If you can recall childhood stories and write them down it might be good. A list is GREAT! I definitely took in notes with me. They want to confirm that you’ve always been this way. I brought in a typed life story to mine – 10 pages and then another 5 to the 2nd interview. No lie.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Hyperlexic children are characterized by having average or above-average IQs, and word-reading ability well above what would be expected given their age.[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlexia – I learn something new every day. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am hoping to encourage my son to communicate with an augmentative speech device. We’ve just qualified through his insurance. He has been resistant to the process in the past. Did you ever have challenges in communicating that made you quit wanting to try? If so, what made a difference for you, if I might ask?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think patience and understanding is important. Also, some of us have OCD and we can want things to be “perfect” before we do anything. This perfectionism can be a problem. Also, when people are not kind and understanding, are critical or judgmental, then I shut down. Can you leave him alone to play with and figure out the device? Can you think of a good bribe / reward if he uses it? Do NOT underestimate the power of a bribe. I still motivate myself with bribes EVERY day. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Balloons it is. (Leaving him alone with expensive, easily destroyed i-pads is what led us to requesting a piece of durable medical equipment built to withstand tanks.) Thanks for the suggestions though. Bribing is probably 70-80% of my approach to parenting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Really good reply… I agree. I wish I’d had another way to communicate AND that was accepted by others…when I had selective mutism severely for 20 years. Typing gives you time to think. Good idea about letting him alone to ‘play’ with the device himself – maybe you could think of a game you could play…?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post! I have word grasping problems and stutter when stressed. I’m never sure when or where it will happen. I am extremely anxious at stores when I go to pay. If a cashier tries to engage me in conversation will I be able to talk and sound like a “normal” person. It’s embarrassing when I can’t think of the name for something simple like a pen or phone. It rattles around in my brain somewhere and is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t reach it. This causes stress which causes me to stutter. A lovely cycle. lol Sometimes you can’t win. On here I have my Dictionary and Thesaurus. I also have time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am forcing myself through the awkwardness now – if the wrong word comes out of my mouth I let it. I used to just stay quiet and pushing is hard but when people correct me I just say – you know what I mean… or sometimes when there really is NO word at all not even the wrong word – sometimes I spin my finger in the air in front of me (like the circle on a Mac computer) to signal that I need time and am trying to think of the word… Dropping the shame and being comical about is has massively helped my self-esteem.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Have I mentioned how much I love your colored pencils? I am always searching for the best colored pencils. They all have something wrong with them. They break when sharpening, they smudge, they aren’t pigmented enough, etc. I have bought 8 sets with 72 pencils in each and 1 set with 100. lol I can’t give them away!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel like it’s Christmas when I open a new set of pencils or get a new journal. I am obsessed with a certain type of pen. Frixion Ballpoint Erasable pen by Pilot, my Chihuahua also likes them! lol He somehow opened a drawer and tried to eat 2 of them. They are not cheap. I only have a few Prisma pencils I recently bought Brevillier Cretacolor Watercolor pencils that are unbelievable! I just hope I’m not poisoning myself because I lick the point when I want to change the color. lol

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, you’re not alone other chronic cognitive disabilities give it to us as a nice little present too. SOmetimes I can’t even remember what things are called and speak in pronouns – especially 3rd person so neither my wife nor I really know what we are speaking about.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard that at least 25% of autistics have or had epilepsy. Both conditions are due to issues with signal processing in the brain, so it only makes sense for them to be comorbid; same with Alexithymia. I haven’t had a seizure in 51 years, but I’m still autistic with Alexithymia.


  6. Lovely post – but it saddens me a little too – Because at 40 I recently discovered I am hyperlexic. I too struggle with conversation, not to a dissabilitating level – although in a work context, maybe so… As I am much more knowledgeable than my peers – but I do not possess the necessary conversational “soft skills” that are required to move further up the corporate ladder.
    My 4 year old son is hyperlexic – and it was from this that I came to my revelation. Now I’ve got to figure out a way to give him the advice and learning support that I never had the benefit of. By the way I believe hyperlexia can exist discretely – as well as being a splinter skill to ASD. Am I autistic? I don’t know, I’d say I swing more to Dr Trefferts type III theory of hyperlexia – I mean, I don’t really seem to have any other conditions other than those that are hypelexia based. As I’m typing this it just struck me what one of my issues is – I seem to have about 5 filters – when somebody says something, I’ll filter it around 5 times, whilst checking for appropriate responses – I believe a typical person would have about 2, and obviously these filters are important for being tactful etc. I wonder if this was a trick that I developed when young as my hyperlexic brain tried to learn to cope, I just maybe started to over analyse people’s words whilst looking for the correct response, and because of this it all gets a bit muddled inside my head – Nowadays I don’t need all these filters – proved by the fact that when I’ve consumed alcohol I can be much more eloquent and quick with responses, as some of the filters are removed… Unfortunately I can’t walk around drunk the whole time. And unfortunately I’m stuck with these extra filters. Growing up with my hyperlexic coping strategy – does seem to have a plus side to it – I seem to be very good at noticing everything, all the little nuances of the world, the little moments that appear so beautiful, I get to notice those a lot. On a side note as well, the extensive reservoir of information that I’ve gobbled up over the years, that is mostly trapped inside my head – I developed a way to access this, and this allows me to create “creative things” – I’m personal about it, so I won’t go into details…
    My question to you would be – if you could go back and talk to yourself when you were a kid, do you think you could help yourself to not become trapped inside your head too much when you are having a conversation?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love being alone, because of my Sensory Processing Disorder environments with large groups of people are unpleasant. I also mishear words a lot and am always in my head looking for context clues as to the missed words. In addition to my hyperlexia, Autism is a communication “disorder” and Aspies tend to NEED calm quiet time, often alone – which gives us a lot of time to be in our own heads. I am happiest alone in my own head because “normal people” are often irrational to me and have interests that seem shallow (reality TV, celebrity gossip, etc.). I am happiest alone or with a close friend. Also I have to be in my head for conversations in professional settings or I may say something to get me fired – my opinions tend to be controversial or unique. Aspie’s can be painfully honest and if I don’t filter I hurt people’s feelings.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Holy crow. I am really amazed at how many people think like I do. I could have written what you wrote there. It’s just such an amazing gift to find out there are other people like me. Growing up I was just the weird girl. I cried all the time. Now I feel so much better because I understand what some people are actually talking about internally. I can relate to it!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “Growing up I was just the weird girl. I cried all the time. Now I feel so much better because I understand what some people are actually talking about internally.” – me too!!! We all need to speak out so we don’t grow up feeling alone. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  7. As a journalist sometimes people would want to have me on a panel or something else that involves public speaking off the top of your head – I would have sounded like a 12-year-old valley girl. And my voice can be singsong sometimes and I have a lot of hand movements plus I make up words constantly. And I started reading so early and was reading faster than the machines that could gauge how fast I can read when I was seven that anyone who knows me from reading me would be shocked if they actually saw me and heard me talking. I actually have a fear of checking my email that it took a long time getting over because I was scared somebody would be angry because I socially wrote something wrong. But it is so easy for me to do written communication. I send 100 page letters to people. I was the fastest journalist at a major national newspaper. But it takes me such a long time to process auditory information that it can be terrifying to answer the telephone especially if someone wants to know “do you want to have lunch now?” How am I supposed to know! I’m hyperfocus thing about something else.

    I don’t talk on the phone very often and one time I recently did I asked my friend I was doing it properly. He had no idea what I meant. Part of it could be the total isolation of MCS . But it’s not an easy skill. With a lot of my friendswe only take turns monologing to other. Yes, I made up a word again. I think being a visual thinker makes it hard to translate into words . But when I read I see everything visually and as a child around age six I started seeing words that people said typed up and then ” said mother.” I visually see the words sometimes. It was really scary at first. And as a journalist I would wake up and write the article and go back to bed . I would wake up seeing it exactly how it was supposed to look typed out. And I have a photographic memory with forms and with pages of books that Kindle has totally ruined that.


  8. Hello Anne,

    You found your voice. That is what important. When I get excited my brain thinks faster than my mouth can keep up.
    I am so afraid that I lose my audience as a teacher or a speaker. I am so glad to discover how to write so people can read at their own speed.
    You make it work. Thank God for gifts.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Hyperelaxia | SEO

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