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    #238525 - 05/24/17 08:27 AM Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?)
    MSTieMom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/16/16
    Posts: 2
    I have a daughter that is a davidson young scholar. She is currently 7 but was reading (actual reading) by 20 months. She could take a new children book off the shelf and read it. She was also quite verbal, etc. etc.

    Now my youngest son is 2. He also seems to be reading very early, like my daughter. HOWEVER, he is also delayed in his speech. So this looks different that just being gifted like his sister. He can read almost any word put in front of him, so he is able to say the words clearly, but they don't seem to hold a lot of functional meaning. So like he could read "Max needs to put the ball in the box." and if I told him to do what the words said, he'd be lost.

    Even more than letters and reading, he has been obsessed with numbers from a very young age. OBSESSED. He can read printed numbers up into the 1000s, count that high as well. He understands what they mean and can do very basic math. (Like you could ask him "what is 53 minus 1" and he'd say 52). He counts things, reads every number he sees at the grocery store, etc. He seeks out numbers. Anything involving numbers (books, games) will hold his attention for hours at a time. I remember when he was about 18 months it would take forever to walk through a parking lot with him because he had to read every license plate (loudly and joyfully!).

    He is in early intervention right now for his language delay and seems to have sensory issues as well. (Jumping, flapping, extremely picky eating). It's only been a few weeks but he is already making progress. Hyperlexia, hypernumeracy, and sensory issues are the "diagnosis" from the therapist.

    While my Young Scholar was also quite advanced in reading and numbers, she wasn't obsessive about it like he is. She also didn't have any of these speech delays or sensory issues. So it just seems different. My oldest son was also number obsessed but not to this level of obsession or proficiency.

    He has no signs of autism in my littlest guy, so I'm told, as he is quite social and makes good eye contact. But I would imagine a very high function autism could be a possibility, he's just too young to know right now.

    Anyone else here dealt with this? I'm torn between letting him do what he loves (numbers!) versus always trying to redirect him. It seems like this could be a positive for him in some ways, but I can see it could also be a distraction and a fixation.

    Is this something that requires special attention (like once he is 3 and can get special ed services - if needed - through the school district) or not?

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    #238528 - 05/24/17 11:31 AM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: MSTieMom]
    kchow1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/05/16
    Posts: 24
    Sounds very similar to my son, who is now 7. I would say that if he has interests in a certain area, to go with it. My son was also obsessed with numbers, and we indulged him, by buying math manipulatives, letting him watch Youtube videos, flash cards, etc. And if you have any areas of concern, it's good to get them addressed early. Have you had him evaluated by a developmental pediatrician yet?

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    #238532 - 05/24/17 12:34 PM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: MSTieMom]
    Nolepharm Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/31/17
    Posts: 26
    Loc: Florida
    Flapping , sensory issues, picky eating, and obsession are all behaviors commonly associated with autism. It is possible to make good eye contact and also be on the spectrum. Personally, it sounds to me like he is displaying many of the signs of what was previously described as aspergers. Many of these may just go away over time, but I would read up on aspergers and see if you feel like that fits your child.

    I do have a similar child who is 5, and we are discussing whether or not to get an evaluation.


    Edited by Nolepharm (05/24/17 12:35 PM)

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    #238534 - 05/24/17 01:16 PM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: MSTieMom]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    My DS10 was [mis]diagnosed with hyperlexia when he was 6, so I've done a lot of reading on the subject.

    Hyperlexia has 3 subtypes. Type 3 has autism traits and some argue it is an autism spectrum disorder. However, with appropriate therapy, kids with hyperlexia-3 outgrow their autism-like behaviors. The prognosis is excellent with early intervention of speech, language, and social pragmatic therapies.

    If you are not comfortable waiting, you could pursue autism evaluation to get insurance to cover therapy now.

    The difference between hyperlexia-3 autism-like behaviors and autism spectrum is that hyperlexia-3 will get better with treatment. Call it whatever you need to in order to get therapy. JMO

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    #238537 - 05/24/17 01:40 PM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: MSTieMom]
    AlexisHMS Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/04/14
    Posts: 13
    I would not *always* redirect him. Using his passions can also be beneficial regardless of diagnosis.

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    #238538 - 05/24/17 01:50 PM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: Nolepharm]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: Nolepharm
    Flapping , sensory issues, picky eating, and obsession are all behaviors commonly associated with autism. It is possible to make good eye contact and also be on the spectrum.

    My DD was not diagnosed until age 11, and a substantial part of that was because she always had good eye contact. It is totally possible to be autistic and capable of good eye contact.

    If you're being told by people who don't actually work with autistic kids that he doesn't show signs of autism, I would pursue getting him evaluated by an actual autism center. The worst case scenario is that they don't diagnose him with autism and you're in the same place, right? But if they do, trust me that you want to know about it now and not when he's 12 and running away from school personnel and making them worry he's going to be hit by a bus.

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    #238539 - 05/24/17 02:12 PM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: MSTieMom]
    MSTieMom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/16/16
    Posts: 2
    Thanks so much for all these responses! smile I'm a little familiar with aspergers only because I babysat a kiddo that was diagnosed with aspergers when I was a teenager. I know enough to know that kids with aspergers can be very different from one another, so it does make it hard to identify. I don't know at what age such a diagnosis can be made. (Maybe I should have posted this in the twice exceptional forum, sorry!!)

    Is two just too young to really try for this type of evaluation? I'm thinking once he hits three and will be eligible (age-wise) for our school district special education services, and at that point a diagnosis might be more helpful.

    For now he is making good progress in speech, but our therapist (and pediatrician) are recommending we taking him to a "feeding center" to help with eating issues. So I've starting searching for that... They are also recommending an occupational therapist for both the eating and the sensory issues. I'm trying to not be overwhelmed with this new world of specialists and just take things one step at a time.

    So do kids with hypernumeracy and hyperlexia tend ease up on the obsession as they get older - or is this a "only time will tell" situation?

    Any books to recommend on this subject? I'm a bookworm, so any good titles - just lay them on me!

    Thanks again!!

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    #238541 - 05/24/17 03:00 PM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: ElizabethN]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3885
    Originally Posted By: ElizabethN
    Originally Posted By: Nolepharm
    Flapping , sensory issues, picky eating, and obsession are all behaviors commonly associated with autism. It is possible to make good eye contact and also be on the spectrum.

    My DD was not diagnosed until age 11, and a substantial part of that was because she always had good eye contact. It is totally possible to be autistic and capable of good eye contact.

    If you're being told by people who don't actually work with autistic kids that he doesn't show signs of autism, I would pursue getting him evaluated by an actual autism center. The worst case scenario is that they don't diagnose him with autism and you're in the same place, right? But if they do, trust me that you want to know about it now and not when he's 12 and running away from school personnel and making them worry he's going to be hit by a bus.

    Yes.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #238545 - 05/24/17 07:30 PM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: MSTieMom]
    Priiak Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/15/16
    Posts: 19
    If a provider is telling you there are no signs of autism, and yet the child has a language delay (in terms of functional communication, it sounds like) and hand flapping/jumping, then I would definitely take their statement with a grain of salt and seek an opinion from an ASD diagnostician because those are all present in ASD. It's very true that lack of consistent, appropriate eye contact is almost always present in ASD, but what is considered appropriate, consistent eye contact can be difficult to gauge, and of course, there are outliers. Being social also doesn't exclude someone from an ASD diagnosis, it's more in HOW they're social, if you will. Autism assessment is my career--at my center, we casually refer to it as "boy autism" versus "girl autism." They tend to present differently, for a myriad of reasons, and often girls go undiagnosed because they are "social."
    At the very least, I'd see how he does on an MCHAT or an SRS.

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    #238546 - 05/25/17 12:00 AM Re: Hyperlexia and Hypernumeracy in 2 year old (?) [Re: MSTieMom]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4688
    I agree that that the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (MCHAT) may be helpful, but isn't the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) meant for children over 4 years old?

    Here is a brief roundup of outreach resources to help inform parents about ASD -
    - CDC summary of the DSM5 criteria for ASD and "Learn the signs. Act early." campaign
    - Understood.org... search for 'ASD' or 'autism'
    - wrightslaw... scroll down to select 'Autism Spectrum' in the columnar list of Topics in the left margin
    - SENG YouTube videoThe Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children and book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders.
    - National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) - US National Library of Medicine (NLM) - National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Measurement Issues: Screening and diagnostic instruments for autism spectrum disorders – lessons from research and practice
    Originally Posted By: NCBI NLM NIH author manuscript
    The items that best discriminated between children with ASD and children with other developmental problems were those that measured joint attention behaviours (pointing, bringing things to show), social relatedness (interest in other children, imitation) and communication (response to name).

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