She’s eleven years old. She’s the sweetest thing in the world, and she has always been a bit different. Never enough to really interfere with her life on the whole, but that was because she was so young. Adults just thought it was cute, or that she was especially precocious. She was instant messaging me from home (while I was at work), when she was three years old. Her reading was off the charts. Everyone was blown away.
But, as a parent, you know when something’s a little off.
And, that’s when her rituals started. And she had night terrors almost every night, at the same time. She couldn’t make friends easy as she started getting older, and then the bullying began. She started to keep a daily journal when she was about five, and organizes her stuffed animals according to an ever-shifting calendar she keeps within that journal. It’s practically indecipherable to me and her mom. But, ostensibly, it makes perfect sense to her.
Her Psychologist showed us her scores. And intellectually she’s pretty normal. Smack-dab in the middle of the bell curve. Nothing deficient. And that’s where this hyperlexia fits in. Her reading/writing/language was almost off the charts. Of course, we weren’t surprised, but when you have actual data like that staring you in the face, it’s quite a splash of cold water. For the most part, hyperlexia is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not savant level amazing, but we’ve been told it’s sort of like giftedness. However, it throws her off balance. And for some reason, it’s related to her social awkwardness. Must be part of the gift-basket that is autism.
There’s a whole slew of other things, a pinch of classic Asperger’s, and dash of OCD, a sprinkle of impulsiveness. You can call her a “high-functioning autistic” or whatever label, but still, it all adds up in this unique, bright, loving, joyful and terribly naive little girl. She’s going to have a rough road ahead of her, and I’m scared for her in so many ways. But at the same time, I’m proud of her, and I think she’s going to have a great life, despite whatever negative consequences a social disability, and cognitive "hyper"ability may bring her.
Thanks for listening,