hyperlexia

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    Questioning the origin of my vocal spasms

    #VocalCordDysfunction #Dystonia #Autism #Dysphagia #SensoryIntegration #SensoryProcessingDisorder #MotorDisorders #Dyspraxia #Apraxia #ApraxiaOfSpeech #Undiagnosed I posted a question on the vocal cord dysfunction and dystonia communities earlier tonight, and then did a little research on vocal cord dysfunction in order to see if I could find any answers to a question that has been unanswered or partially answered for decades in my life. About the cause of the painful vocal spasms I've had all my life, and the dysphagia issues that developed in early adulthood, that seemed to be related. An exacerbation, if you will. Both have waxed and waned significantly since.

    What I found google suggested two things: 1. Nobody in the medical community really has a clue about vocal spasms, although the field of dystonia has more knowledge than the rest. And 2: Given all my other issues, it is entirely likely these symptoms are not caused by jyst one thing. It could be a number of things! Oh yeah, I forgot to add #Trauma #PTSD #CPTSD and #Asthma to the list of potential factors. Oh, and #childabusesurvivor .

    Stress does seem to have played a factor, as does #Fatigue especially as I consider the baseline level of fatigue and stress I lived with for most if my life that I am only now beginning to realize the effects they must've had on me, and how much it all must've inhibited my abilities and ability to grow as a person, and to learn. (Which were hidden due to my high intelligence and academic ability. #Hyperlexia played a factor in that. And the general intolerance of the people in my environment, and the ableist nature of society in general.) And the cost its all had on/to me.

    But there's a lot of neurological complexities too, as you can see by the hashtags. It makes me leery of trying yo officially get this sorted out after all. Most medical professionals won't know quite what to make of it all, if they even know the terms! Still, I wonder... I've always thought it was one thing, or mostly one thing, but maybe it isn't. Maybe it is more part of the whole "interesting neurological mess" thing so many autistics find themselves dealing with. (Multiple neurological syndromes that are too complicated to try to explain how they all work, never mind interact, to outsiders)

    Community Voices

    A Little History/Introduction

    #CPTSD #Autism #UndiagnosedAutism As I seem to be finding some words to explain what's going through my head lately, I thought a little background might be nice for those who've read my other posts.

    I grew up undiagnosed, in an intolerant, dysfunctional family back when society believed you were either physically disabled, intellectually disabled, or 'normal'. with no other options. Suffice it to say, I didn't fall into any of these categories. It was clear I was intelligent, however, even with my speech delay (hello #Hyperlexia ) so it was assumed I fit into the 'normal' category. I'll save you the horror story, but suffice it to say things did not go well. My family liked to blame me for my difficulties and pathologize pretty much everything about me. 

    Yet, when, as a teen or early adult, I tried to suggest there might be an actual disability involved, I was dismissed, or told I was exaggerating, etc. As the demands for independence and other such 'adult' stuff increased, it became impossible for me to manage without a disability diagnosis, so I pushed for one. and pushed, and pushed, and pushed. Succeeded in stages. Eventually even managed to get a number of support services which have made independent living possible.

    For the last 30 or so years I've focused on how to make my life 'suck the least', and have done a whole lot of work on healing my trauma and learning how to develop the relationships that are important to me, and gain the confidence to be my autistic self wherever I am. Self-advocacy was a large part of this for a long time. Lately I've had a pretty quiet life. My life in general is pretty awesome these days. COVID fatigue kinda sucks, but whatever. I'm about 90% functional as a general rule, without any of the issues that plagued me as younger adult. I'm typically pretty happy, and content with my life and at peace with myself. (I still have autism related issues, of course, but I've learned how to accept those and adapt to them so I still manage to get done everything that needs it.)

    Recently, however, I've had a plague of emotional flashbacks, that I can't seem to banish. No matter what I do. I hate this current emotional reactivity I've got going. And I'm kinda at a loss about what to do about it all. Hoping tomorrow's dr's appointment will help with things.

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    Community Voices

    Mistaken for Autistic?

    Recently someone I know who works with the Autistic population in schools told me she thought I was probably autistic. I was a late talker, probably qualified for #Hyperlexia III (thank science they identified me as #Gifted and talented instead) and I identify and evaluate social norms for their utility, then decide whether or not they're worth a damn to me in getting where I want to go. Often they're not. I recently learned#SensoryProcessingDisorder is a thing, and all the "touchy, controlling" behavior I exhibited was really just hypersensitivity (and #synethsia ). I'm also unable to identify autistic people unless they're flapping. My dad and his grandpa may be autistic, and male cousins on each side of my family have been diagnosed as such. My ex-husband had #ADHD and  #Autism and I never realized the latter until my mother pointed it out to me after the divorce. Still, given all of this (and more), why the hell would I be told I'm autistic, other than because that's what this girl was familiar with, and #Masking   isn't a term used for anyone else yet? Has anyone else been mistaken for autistic, or another issue that didn't seem like it went along with their diagnosis?

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    What It's Like to Have Hyperlexia

    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 .