Friday, June 17, 2016

Hyperlexic autistic - what's that? It's everywhere

*Disclaimer A*

Can one have “niche-y” articulation precocities (similar to savantism), while also having particular but sometimes very frustratingly debilitating communication differences and disabilities? I can..because I’m on the autistic spectrum, with hyperlexia. 

Hyperlexia is a condition of verbal precocity seen in many on the spectrum specifically, but it's hugely under recognized, for what it is anyway. This creates detrimental overestimations and underestimations of a persons strengths and challenges. 

The discrepancies created by autism with hyperlexia can bring unique gifts and niche talents, but also painful paradoxes. It’s hard to be a person like this. It’s not an easy life, it's an often misunderstood life, it can be idealized, or demeaned. Mental health can come into play. Disabilities and lack of recognition for them, when they're masked by gifts, can tragically hold a person back. 

There are gifts, immense gifts, and due to the above, others tend to benefit from them more than the person themselves. We can note that when we think of tragic and eccentric famous people, who made many others happy but hurt so bad themselves that sometimes they came to early demise, in one way or another. I wish that’d change though ...

There's much to be said about it - and it could be studied. Should be. So many people would be prevented from getting hurt, and be identified properly rather than character-pathologized (until some even manifest that pathologization.)

Yes, some autistic people are socially motivated, and thus partly extroverted, though they still have neurological limits and need to shut down. Many just cannot understand that, and the person (especially if they don’t realize they’re autistic) doesn’t understand it either. People are hard on them, they’re hard on themselves. They set their bars too high, they may develop self injurious coping to go past their limits. Alcoholisms' are huge one, albeit under recognized  

Yes, though some autistic people are very challenged with language, some autistic people are profoundly gifted with words and niche areas of language , they're verbose, brilliantly articulate at times .. though this is often limited to in the context of high interest areas and niche talents/skills. 

Yes, some autistic people electively train to become language/communication/performance experts - they take up higher education or vocational training, they make it a career. But when their day is done they need to shut down, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

The funny thing is, these people are not thought of as autistic, they’re thought of as quirky, eccentric, gifted, crazy, awful, obnoxious, etc. 

Have you ever met someone, or observed a famous persona, in this light? Does “Oh, they’re autistic” come to mind? Probably not. But what if the truth is that they are?

Either we change language or shift paradigms. Or both. 

Hyperlexic autistic. What's that? It's everywhere. 

-Rosie G.

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