A handsome sparkler

August 27, 2008 at 7:25 am 9 comments

     C is hyperlexic, which translates to an early interest in letters, numbers and logos, followed by very early reading. He could read almost before he could talk. His first day of preschool, at just shy of 3 years old, he walked into the room, looked up at the EXIT sign, and said, “E, X, I, T, exit!” His teacher asked me if I’d heard of hyperlexia, which I never had. I’m pretty sure we thought all three year olds knew how to read and spell the word “exit.” I took him home, wrote all the words he could say (there weren’t many at that time) on his magic doodle board, and he read them. We were astounded, and quite frankly delighted. He also figured out, at about 4, how to calculate someone’s age in money (I’m a quarter, a dime, and 4 pennies). And I still remember him wandering around the playroom pointing out every Fisher Price toy we had. He fits the hyperlexia diagnosis probably better than any other diagnosis he has.

     Generally, hyperlexic kids even out with their peers and then tend to fall behind in later years, when comprehension becomes problematic. At the moment, C is excelling in all things academic. C can decode just about any word, but he doesn’t necessarily know what they mean. Even when he understands what they mean, he doesn’t always really  get the meaning in context. We’ve had a few people who think he’s gifted academically, but I’ve never been completely convinced that it’s not just the hyperlexia. Time will tell.

     In the meantime, schoolwork has become somewhat more challenging, which has presented areas of concern, such as his recent answer to the question, “When was a time when you were pleased with yourself?” The question was in response to reading a story about a girl who is proud she won a spelling bee. His answer, “I’m pleased that my Aunt J and Uncle T are coming soon,” made clear his fundamental misunderstanding of the context of the word in the story.

     Yet there are entertaining moments as well. Never has this been so clear as today’s schoolwork that came home, requesting the kids use specific words in a sentence of their own creation. C’s responses had us all howling with laughter and glee.

          HARDLY – I work and play hardly. 

          HANDSOME – I am handsome looking, because I look good.

          SPARKLING – I am sparkling because I am cute all over.

     For this moment at least, I put away any nagging concern in the back of my head about academics in his future. If he can retain this kind of charm and self-confidence, I’ll consider his schooling a complete success.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Who’s that girl? The Intangibles

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mama mara  |  August 27, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Wonderful sentences! I’m sure the angellic Mrs. B will be mightily pleased and pleasantly entertained.

    Maybe she will have some ideas for how to help with comprehension issue. My son’s speech therapist in elementary school, herself a heavenly being, created comic books in which the characters used homonyms. Seeing the words not only in the context of the sentence but also in the context of the pictures made a huge difference.

    Have a sparkly day.

    Aside from the fact that I need to go look up “homonyms” to remind me what they are (I get all those “nyms” confused!), it sounds like a really good idea. I’ll have to try it. And you, too, have a sparkly day! 🙂

  • 2. pixiemama  |  August 27, 2008 at 8:52 am

    It’s so hard not to worry. I’m looking around a lot these days (our first days back to school here – Foster starts tomorrow) and I see worry and stress on many parents’ faces. Change is hard for us, too! Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball to figure it all out; other times I know I need to step back from the future-worries and just let my family LIVE! But you’re right – the worry is always there, right beneath the surface.

    And speaking of things that sparkle – pop on over to my blog and “collect” your award!


    It is right there – ALL the time. Even when not actively fretting about it, it just sits there, in the back of your head. Good luck tomorrow/today with F and school!

  • 3. FXSmom  |  August 27, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Well, he doesn’t lack in self esteem 🙂

    That is just what Husband said. I’m hoping the overload of self-esteem will carry him through the years when self-esteem gets slogged right out of kids. 🙂

  • 4. Angie  |  August 27, 2008 at 9:31 am

    That last one is precious! I’m gonig to start using that when I feel sassy:)

    Sassy is exactly the perfect mood for that statement! LOL!

  • 5. looksgoodinpolkadots  |  August 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    You made me giggle. Once again, Thanks so much for sharing C with us. He gives me hope.


    Me too. I’m so glad he’s in this world, and not just for me. 🙂

  • 6. robinaltman  |  August 27, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I think C has started a new phrase – “I feel sparklin’!” I volunteer to be the first one to use it.

    I know, I’ve been using “sparkling” all day. It’s a great word, really, that I think we should all add to our daily vocabulary. It just brings a happy feeling!

  • 7. mommy~dearest  |  August 27, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Oh! I love “hardly”!

    Reminds me of my son’s word “fastery.” You know, it’s the verb form of “fast”.

    Push me on the swing, Mommy? Okay, push me fastery!

    I know – that one almost cracked me up as much as the other two. It really makes perfect sense. I love “fastery” too. That’s perfect.

  • 8. embracingspirit  |  August 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Love the sparkling! That is awesome! and it is so crazy that you grew up in Monument…I live on the north end of the Springs. I have lived here my whole life; in fact, moving from West of 1-25 to Briargate nearly put me in therapy! ha ha….thanks for the nice comment too..:)

  • 9. goodmum  |  August 27, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I love “hardly” too! He is just so delicious! It’s amazing, because I’ve never met him, and yet, I know I like him. A lot! Do you think it would be redundant to say that he’s like my own boy? Kinda. Yeah, you’re right. Redundant. 🙂

    Maybe we should just blend our blogs…hee hee. And delicious is a great word. Thanks! 🙂


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