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View Diary: If you have ever loved or known someone with Autism please read this diary (133 comments)

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  •  I worked with a child who was/is (16+ / 0-)

    Hyperlexic, which is a condition under that umbrella of autism.  It was one of the best rides of my life.  He is now grown and acting with a local theater company while he tries to finish community college.

    •  That sounds wonderful! (14+ / 0-)

      I love hearing when people become fully independent or at least as close to that as possible. Independence is my goal for every person I have ever encountered on the spectrum.

      “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

      by Tool on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:34:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Could you describe 'hyperlexic', pls? (4+ / 0-)
      •  Hyperlexia (8+ / 0-)
        Hyperlexia was initially identified by Silberberg and Silberberg (1967), who defined it as the precocious ability to read words without prior training in learning to read typically before the age of 5.
        My granddaughter is on the "high functioning" (hate that term) end of the spectrum. We'd always read to her a lot without imagining she was learning to read, until I was in the library lobby with her one day and heard this little voice saying "this plaque is gratefully dedicated to"- etc etc). She was reading it, with no apparent effort. She had just turned four.
        •  Thanks, gramofsam1. I had looked it up (9+ / 0-)

          at Wikipedia after leaving the diary, because I sometimes wonder if I"m a little bit Aspie.

          The Wiki gave the definition you gave, then went on and included the 'levels' of hyperlexia.  The first level was something like 'neurotypical but reading early and well above age level' or something like that, which may be my category.

          I remember grasping the concept of markings on paper representing words and sentences one day when I was 3 or 4.  My dad was reading to my brother and me, a book he hare read us a gazillion times, about how Mickey and Goofy were building this space ship in the garage and the Beagle Boys wanted to steal it from them.  M & G put a padlock on the garage before they left, but those nefarious Boys brought a 'jimmy' to 'jimmy the lock'.

          You can guess what my brother's name was.  This had already startled and intrigued me in previous readings, so I stopped Dad (who always read to us with great dramatic flair, his finger tracing under the words as he spoke).  I asked Dad about the 'jimmy' because it sounded just like 'Jimmy'.  Dad explained that the same word was used for a person or a thing (the crowbar) or an action (jimmying), and spelled the word out.  I asked if each mark meant a sound, and each group of marks meant a word; Dad said yes -- and all the lines of letter swam on the page for a moment, becoming markers for words and sentences (although I didn't yet know the word/concept 'sentences').  A revelation to me:  a whole world of markers with meaning behind them opened up for me, and I wanted them all.

          My parents separated when I was 5, and Mom took us to her home town. During the summer between kindergarten and first grade, I was soooo bored, and no adult to read to me.  So I decided to learn to read so I wouldn't be bored.  I asked my Italian immigrant Grandpa if I could borrow the book he studied for his naturalization test.  He told me I wouldn't be able to reach myself, and I told him that (as I would put it now) that he had no basis for that assertion, because how could I know unless I tried?  I took the book home (a third-grade Dick & Jane) got stuck on the first word -- 'The' -- asked Mom about the 'TH'; she opened the huge dictionary, pointed to the word, pointed to the sound-indicators by the word and at the bottom of the page, and waled away.  Good. More tools.

          I entered first grade reading at a third-grade level, with full comprehension, and a confident auto-didact was born.

          Which is a very different story than your amazing granddaughter, and allows me to count out my early reading as a possible Aspie indicator.

        •  I wonder if this is my daughter. She was reading (10+ / 0-)

          before we realized it or anybody had tried to teach her. And when she became interested in Anime, she taught herself Japanese without anyone prompting or teaching her. Suddenly she was translating videos for me, with all kinds of subtlelty such as "he said that with the equivalent of a Texan accent in Japanese" or "she used that word because the other person is of a different social class"

          Kind of blew my mind.

          She's very much into what she's into and you can't motivate her in any way shape or form to put energy into anything else. We had her evaluated and they said she wasn't on the autism scale, that she just had a strong personality. Still, it's a very self-defined personality. Sweet as can be, but doesn't care a lick about what other people think or whether she fits in.

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 11:23:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  many females don't get diagnosed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...due to the strong bias in the system.  Shana Nichols has been doing some groundbreaking work on females with autism.  Most females with autism or add are diagnosed much, much later.

            My daughter likes anime as well.  We used it as a teaching tool.  We came to discover that anime character are much easier for autistic people to read nonverbal language, because the facial expressions are so exaggerated.  The subtitles are helpful to follow when you have nonverbal language processing.  She now attends college, majoring in fashion design, due to her love for costuming.

            Unless you've had a speech pathologist and an OT who specialize in autism and who have had clients who are females, evaluate your child, you haven't have a creditable evaluation.  Also the "lack of motivation" could have a physical cause such as focal seizures or migraines, which is very common in autistic females, but often overlooked, so a neurological evaluation might be a good idea.

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