Thursday, September 29, 2016

Help & Support for Hyperlexia

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Do I have hyperlexia? Is my child hyperlexic? Take the free online hyperlexia quiz today!

Where to go to get help for your child with hyperlexia.

It seems like yesterday was random hyperlexia support day or something because I was coming across information, requests, and comments about hyperlexia like crazy! First there were some amazing comments, along with some thought provoking questions, on our hyperlexia story blog post

Then the National Autism Association shared an image on their Facebook page about hyperlexia. It was so refreshing to see hyperlexia highlighted in such a manner! And not by me for a change! All I could think was, "It's about time!"

Then later in the evening, a blogging friend sent me a message about a mother in her support group looking for more information about hyperlexia as her child was just diagnosed. This one definitely hit me hard. Because regardless of how much I have written and shared about hyperlexia in the past two years, obviously it is still difficult for those needing the information to actually find it.

And that sucks. 

I know what it is like to be in this mother's shoes. The new diagnosis is overwhelming. The lack of information is frustrating. There's confusion, maybe shock. There's maybe even happy tears shed because finally...finally, there's an answer to describe and explain their child.

So to this mother, and all other mothers out there who are in this same position, the same one I was in two years ago, here is what you need to get the help and support your child with hyperlexia needs, as well as the help and support you need as a parent.

Wow, I got a wee bit passionate there, didn't I?

How to get the help and support your child with hyperlexia needs

Professional Help & Support for Children with Hyperlexia

There are many therapeutic options available for kids with hyperlexia. However, not all professionals will necessarily have experience with hyperlexia and oftentimes, they may not have heard of hyperlexia. Shocking, I know...You may need to educate them on what hyperlexia is. You can see my tips for advocating here.

Since most kids with hyperlexia also have the autism diagnosis, a lot of parents seek out various types of autism therapy, such as ABA or occupational therapy. So search for professionals and therapy options that suit your child's needs. Those needs could be speech related, sensory related, social skills related, etc.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and I am not endorsing any particular therapies below. This list is not reflective of my personal opinions on the particular therapies. It's just here to provide you with ideas. Here are a few therapies to explore:

  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Music therapy
  • ABA
  • Physical therapy
  • Social skills groups and/or training
  • Play therapy

Classroom Support & Home Accommodations for Your Child with Hyperlexia

If your child has just been diagnosed with hyperlexia and you are looking for actionable ideas to try immediately, then here are a few articles that address accommodations and support for school and for home:

Online Support Groups for Parents of Hyperlexic Children

I find it extremely helpful to talk to others who just get it. Others who are raising children with hyperlexia. It's nice to know we're not alone and that others understand the unique abilities and challenges that go along with hyperlexia. You know, instead of people thinking we are bragging constantly or that we drilled our kids with flashcards as babies...yeah, you've had those conversations too? I bet you have!

So whether you are new to the hyperlexia diagnosis or not, then you may find comfort with an online support group just like I have. Here are two support groups designed for parents of children with hyperlexia (educators and hyperlexic individuals welcome as well, of course!):

  1. Hyperlexia + Autism Support Group - This group is run by me and is for full of parents just like you and I. You will also find many autistic and hyperlexic adults in the group.
  2. Hyperlexia Parents Network on Facebook - This group was the first group that I joined when my son got his diagnosis and I found it incredibly helpful. It is an extremely active group that celebrates the unique quirks and talents of our hyperlexic kids, while offering support, regardless of what stage or age you are at in your hyperlexic journey. The admins sometimes set this group as secret from time to time (I really don't know why!) so if you have trouble joining it, keep checking back from time to time. 
There are also numerous groups dedicated to hyperlexia type 3 on Facebook. But, a word of caution, I often find these particular groups quite negative and toxic. 

Hope you find these resources and ideas helpful!

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How to get the help and support your child with hyperlexia needs