Autism is one of the most common diagnosis in children that are 5 years old or younger. This indication has many different symptoms and depending on the ASD type, some signs may be seen as gifts.
Experts say that hyperlexia is a gift that some of the autistic patients can receive and here we are going to talk about the common symptoms, statistics, and how these conditions are diagnosed.
It is said that autism is a condition that has been around for centuries. However, it took many years for researchers to start diagnosing this disease. In the past, the people were usually misdiagnosed with other conditions, and it made the treatment process harder.
Researches show that the cause for this indication is genetics and when the parents are older, the children are more likely to be diagnosed with autism. This disease is harder to diagnose in women because girls are better at “masking”.
Masking means that people have the ability to copy the way others behave, including emotions. Girls are better at masking than boys, and because of that, girls usually get diagnosed at a later age. Some statistics show that women may not get diagnosed until they are in their late 50s and sometimes even older.
This year the reports show that one in every 200 children is diagnosed with a form in the autism spectrum disorder or ASD. At the moment Honk Kong has the highest rate of ASD in children with about 400 diagnosed children out of 10,000. When it comes to the United States, that number is 200 children in 10,000. The majority of the diagnosed are boys with about 4% and less than 1% are girls.
This does not mean that girls are less likely to get the condition, but they are usually harder to diagnose, and because of that. Nowadays there are many facilities that focus on the research of the symptoms that girls show from the earliest ages, and how that can help in future diagnosis and treatments.
There are a lot of symptoms children show that can lead to a diagnosis. The reason why we call it a spectrum disorder is because some people may exhibit more symptoms, and some of them may only show the slightest traits.
People who are better at masking and can mimic the behavior of others are less likely to be diagnosed. Unfortunately, when there is misdiagnosis or when their families don’t believe them, it can lead to other conditions like anxiety and depression.
Some of the symptoms may include difficulties with social interaction, communication, and hypersensitivity. Patients say that their brain works in a different way and that sometimes they don’t feel the need to eat or use the bathroom. Because of that, they need to be reminded that they are hungry, thirsty, and what they need to do to take care of themselves.
About half of the children diagnosed with a form of ASD have IQ scores above average, and 25% have normal IQs. It is said that hyperlexia can be one of the early signs in autism in children, but sometimes that condition or gift may not be connected with ASD at all.
The word hyperlexia comes from Hyper, meaning better than, or above and Lexia that means reading. So, this is a condition when a person has a better understanding or knowledge of words and languages. Children who have above average reading skills that are not common to their age may be diagnosed with this condition.
The children who’ve been diagnosed with this condition may learn to speak earlier than their peers and they will have a better way of communicating with others. It is said that this condition may be perceived as a gift, and in most cases, patients have an above-average IQ.
This condition may also be one of the earliest signs of autism since half of the people diagnosed with ASD have above average intelligence. If you want to learn how these conditions are connected, you can read more about a specific case where a little boy exhibited above-average reading skills and was later diagnosed with autism.
However, statistic shows that these two conditions are not always related and that your child may get diagnosed with only one of the indications.
How is hyperlexia diagnosed?
If you suspect that your child may be hyperlexic then the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. They can access it and let you know if there are more tests that need to be done.
They will ask you about the development of your child if there are any other symptoms that they exhibit and you will need to carry all of the medical documents with you. Make sure you write down any medical history and to let the doctor know if your child was diagnosed with a type in the ASD.
The next step in the diagnosis process is when the team of medical professionals will rule out any other possible condition and possibly, make a hyperlexia diagnosis. They will look for signs like behavior difficulties, the child being able to learn new languages with ease, above-average interest and knowledge of words and other languages, and possible difficulties in learning or understanding the mother tongue.
Sometimes children that are diagnosed with ASD may exhibit symptoms of hyperlexia, and sometimes the second condition may not be related to autism. No matter what the diagnosis is you should be supportive of your child and be there for them.
When you hear that your child has a condition that there is no cure for, many parents feel helpless. You should always know that sometimes things that seem like issues are blessings in disguise. You should try and educate yourself about the conditions and what you can do to help your child lead as normal life as possible.
There are a lot of people who have this condition and they live long and healthy lives. You can get in contact with other patients or parents and talk to them about the things you are experiencing. Talk to your doctor about the things you can do to help your child.