When My Hyperlexia Makes Words Unavailable to Me


In my experience, people tend to think conditions like ADHD, dyslexia and hyperlexia only affect children. People often still think autism only affects children, but then what happens to these kids when they grow up?

We learn to cope with, compensate for and manage our differences, but they are still there.

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

According to the Center for Speech and Language Disorders:

”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.”

It’s a good thing I love reading.

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 often ineffective and unpersuasive, and the words can come out making me sound uneducated and shy. I cannot beg or force the words. Nothing helps when 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 are still inside, even when I cannot express them as you stand in front of me.

I am so grateful for my keyboard. I am so happy I learned to type and write in school. This has turned my hyperlexia into something I’m thankful for.

I am so grateful to have found my words.

Image via Thinkstock.

Follow this journey on Anonymously Autistic.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Tattoo equipment and small containers of inks in different colors

Why I’m Not Choosing a Puzzle Piece Tattoo to Represent My Autism

How Working in Retail Has Helped Me as a Person on the Autism Spectrum

Working in retail for some can be hectic, stressful and overall an unpleasant experience. Having autism and being in that busy, hectic environment can take a toll on some. But for me, despite the challenges, it has helped do the things I never thought I could do. I work at a big-name pharmacy I usually do [...]
Boy and girl lying down in grass

What You See and Don't See When You Look at a Child on the Autism Spectrum

You don’t see the child who desperately wants to be compliant and “good” but struggles to keep it in all day, then explodes at home in her comfort zone with those she trusts the most. You don’t see the anxiety that stays like a knot inside, as the world and other people can be unpredictable, which leads [...]
Two business colleagues standing in front a large window, talking

To the Person Who Left Me Awestruck After I Told You About My Son’s Autism

Last month was the second anniversary of my son’s diagnosis. At the time, I was tired and stressed, questioning my place at North Dakota State University (home of the Bisons) as a graduate student. I had a full-ride scholarship — but still, how was I to find a daycare to go to class and work? [...]