Autistic Kids Reading Early – Autism & Hyperlexia


Hi, everybody NeuroRebel here. And I’m an autistic adult. I’m also a hyperlexic autistic adult this week. We’re going to talk about hyperlexia. So let’s dive right in.

[00:00:47] So first as we often do, we’ll start out with a very formal stuffy medical definition of what hyperlexia is before diving into a more human and personal experience of hyperlexia. So hyperlexia is defined by as a syndrome characterized by an intense fascination with letters or numbers and an advanced reading ability.

[00:01:17] Children who have hyperlexia read at levels far beyond their expected age. Sounds like it’s pretty much all sunshine and roses, but there are a few catches to this and we’re going to dive into those. So I started reading and speaking simultaneously on my own at, around the age of one and a half years old.

[00:01:39] Um, and I surprise my parents because I just started reading out signs from the backseat of the car one day and I was reading the map. And they were like, huh? I didn’t know that they could do that. That’s kind of interesting. Uh, I self taught myself to read because I was obsessed with words. Adults were reading to me before bed and reading books to me and putting their finger on the words as they read.

[00:02:09] And somehow, and my small little one-year-old brain thought that, Oh, because they are reading it lets them. Speak. And I was like, I’m lost master these words and that it will let me learn to speak. And I guess in my case, that actually was very true. I started to memorize the words, uh, and then I also started to speak at around the same time. As a young person I had a very. Large vocabulary, which often was delightful. It was a great parlor trick for adults. People thought, Oh gosh, they’re so smart. It’s so cute.

[00:02:45] Um, but there were, there were some issues with this. Uh, people often overestimated me and my maturity because, because I was a little child with an extremely large vocabulary.

[00:03:00] I sometimes would pick up and read words that I didn’t actually understand or comprehend. Uh, and even now as an adult, you know, despite the fact that, you know, I was reading like 12th grade books in middle school and elementary school, and I read very very, very, very quickly now. Uh, I digest books. I digest things I read, I digest things I read so fast that I am a terrible proofreader, and this is something I struggle with in the workplace and in life even now, because when I read something, I read the words like – it’s like, I can’t even explain how fast I read. It’s like the word – I don’t, I don’t read phonetically.

[00:03:50] I don’t sound things out. I read, you know, like a sentence in paragraphs at a time it’s just gone. Uh, I don’t know many people that read as fast as I do. Um, but like, it makes, it makes proofreading really, really difficult for me. So that’s like my biggest downfall is I have even taking classes. To make me a better proofreader and I’m doing my best.

[00:04:15] And I, if you see my tweets, no, my best is full of typos.

[00:04:22] Thank you so much for hanging out with me this week and learning about my personal experience, uh, as a hyperlexic autistic adult, because. Hyperlexia is something that is more common in the autistic population.

[00:04:36] I hope you found this video helpful. And if you did, please give me a thumbs up or hit share in case somebody else might also find this educational.

[00:04:43] I will talk to you guys next week. Bye .

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2 thoughts on “Autistic Kids Reading Early – Autism & Hyperlexia

    1. They also don’t realize, and are often quite surprised to find, that you may not understand what you read, either.

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