Hyperlexia…Mistaking a Disabled Child as Gifted


He just read his first word!

My husband Jim and I looked at each other in amazement.

We had just taken our two and a half year old son Jonathan to the park in Edmonton, Alberta for a family outing.

My husband and I were one each side of Jonathan walking forward holding one of his hands.  We lifted and swung him and forward, then gently lowering him to the ground while continuing to walk.

Jonathan loved it.  We called it the “123 weeeeeee…” game.

Jonathan had spotted a truck with the word “recycle” on it. He was just barely learning how to talk let alone read and we were so taken by surprise that we actually didn’t believe it at first.

We thought wow we have a gifted child on our hands.

We were so excited that we called the autism society to tell them all about it. I believe we spoke to a woman by the name of and Anita at the time who informed us that this was hyperlexia.  She said it was wonderful that Jonathan was able to speak, however he may not be comprehending what he is saying.

Long story short, some children with autism demonstrate this phenomenon and can lead many parents down the wrong pathway.

I’m glad that Jim and I recognized it for what it was and took immediate measures to get him into the proper intervention program to encourage his comprehension skills.

Has your child demonstrated any special or extraordinary skills for their age?

“Special needs” children can be either disabled or gifted.  What has been your experience?

Share your story with me now by leaving a comment below.

I look forward to hearing about your special needs story.

Karen Simmons
Mother, Wife, Author, Founder & CEO of AutismToday.com


P.S. Here is something I would like to recommend that will give you the tips, strategies, and tools you need to deal effectively with special needs in your child’s life.

To download a video presentation that will help you understand the nature of early detection of special needs, click this link:


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