My Toddler Is Obsessed with the Alphabet and Numbers but Can’t Talk; What Should I Do?

This week we are following up on the classic rebroadcast on hyperlexia. Community Manager Kelsey General joins me for another installment in our Top 5 Question series. We’re talking all about hyperlexia. 

What is hyperlexia? 

Hyperlexia is an extreme focus and obsession with letters, numbers, words, and reading. If your child is young and not yet talking but can read or say letters or numbers, they may be hyperlexic. 

Is hyperlexia a sign of autism or giftedness?

There are two types of hyperlexia. Hyperlexia can, at times, be a sign of giftedness if not accompanied by any other developmental delays. But even if your child can read, do math, or know their letters at a very young age, it does not mean there may not be an intellectual disability. If your child has hyperlexia accompanied by other delays such as delayed talking, delayed pointing, not sharing, not showing, no response to name or limited response to the name, not pretending to play when they should be, and not putting words together when they should be, these all together almost always point to autism. 

How to teach a child with hyperlexia to request?

Check out my digital assessment; it’s only going to take 10 minutes, and you will find out exactly the strengths and weaknesses of your child. From there, you need to program and teach based on their needs. Do not hyperfocus on teaching or expanding their hyperlexic interest, because that can create non-functional skills and other problems down the road. Use their interest as reinforcements, such as letter puzzle pieces as rewards during a shoebox game.

What can I do for hyperlexia and frequent related scripting?

Scripting is a form of stimming; it happens when the mind is not busy to entertain and can be fun for your child. If your child is relaxing and alone, the stimming is okay; everyone has personal stimming behaviors. But, if scripting is getting in the way of instructional time, keep track of what keeps your child busy and engaged and build that into programming to reduce the stimming and keep their attention.

How can you use words, letters, and numbers in teaching a child with Hyperlexia?

Focus on what your child would be doing in preschool; do not go overboard with the skill. You can use their interests in teaching and reinforcement, but keep it in line with what a three year old would be doing in preschool and so on. But really focus on shaping up their weaknesses and not focusing on this special skill.

Be sure to join our online community, where we are always talking about great topics like this one.


  • What is hyperlexia?
  • Does hyperlexia mean autism or giftedness?
  • How to teach manding and requesting in hyperlexic children.
  • How to use interests in letters and numbers in programming.
  • How to program for children with hyperlexia.
  • Can hyperlexia cause future problems?
  • Stimming and scripting with hyperlexia, what should you do?
Want to get started on the right path and start making a difference for your child or client with autism? SIGN-UP FOR DR. MARY BARBERA'S FREE TRAINING


Kelsey General – Turn Autism Around Podcast Transcript

Transcript for Podcast Episode: 226

My Toddler Is Obsessed with the Alphabet and Numbers but Can’t Talk; What Should I Do?

Hosted by: Mary Barbera

Guest: Kelsey General

Mary: You're listening to the Turn Autism Around Podcast Episode number 226. Today I have my sidekick on the show, Kelsey General, who is our community manager. She's been with me and our community since 2016 when she joined our online course in community to help our firstborn son, Brentley. And then she helped her second son. And now she is helping all of us with our children and clients in our community. But once in a while we do a classic rebroadcast, which we did last week for 225. We rebroadcast our episode on Hyperlexia, and today Kelsey is on the show asking me five of the top questions. We get about hyperlexia, early reading, early fixation on letters, whatever you want to call it. It's happening frequently in the autism world and we get a lot of questions. So today is all about that.

Intro: Welcome to the Turn Autism Around podcast for both parents and professionals in the autism world who want to turn things around, be less stressed and lead happier lives. And now your host, Autism mom behavior analyst and bestselling author, Dr. Mary Barbera.

Mary: Okay, Kelsey, we are back. We haven't done a frequently asked questions show for a while. So thank you for joining me today.

Kelsey: Hi, Mary. Good to be here. Let's get rolling on Hyperlexia questions. It's a fun topic.

Mary: All right. Awesome. What's our first question?

Question 1: What is Hyperlexia?

Kelsey: Well. What is hyperlexia? Maybe people who are listening are kind of like, what are they even talking about today?

Mary: Yeah, I didn't know what the term was either. And Lucas started showing signs of hyper Alexia early on at the age of two. And I think I talked about this a little bit in last week's episode, and he was very interested in the letters, and I thought that was a good sign. I was trying to piece things together. This was the late 1990s. The Internet was just coming to be a thing in homes. I had my first AOL account. The web was just inching along. I mean, maybe those of you out there listening are computer geeks and we're like, Well, no, that really happened in the eighties and early nineties. But actually in my home we were just getting to the AOL account in 1999 and 1998 when he first started showing signs. So I actually was searching back then for, you know, letters and two year old knowing letters or and I came across the term hyperlexia. So what it is, is a hyper fixation on letters and numbers, but more so letters and words and reading before you can speak functionally. And I found this woman who was from the Hyperlexia Association, and I went over to her house and, and I called the Hyperlexia Association and I said, you know, my son, you know, is two and he knows letters. And she said, Well, does he have other signs of autism? Or she probably didn't say it that bluntly, but she's like, can you speak any you know? And the answer was no, you know, And she's like, well, you have to get him diagnosed with autism like that. I'm like, I don't want it to be autism. I want it to be hyperlexia. So, you know, Hyperlexia is just that. Now there are three types of hyperlexia And one of the types is early signs of giftedness with no developmental delay. So you could have hyperlexia without autism, but in most cases it's part of the brain that's kind of developing a scattered skill of a hyperfocus on letters and reading. And I've had many clients who have had hyperlexia, whether it's diagnosed or not, it's kind of like it could be an early sign of autism, but it also, like I said, could be a sign of giftedness. It doesn't have to accompany autism. But if you have an interest in letters and reading, plus the other signs, delayed talking, delayed pointing, not sharing, not showing, no response to name or limited response to the name, not pretending to play when they should be, not putting words together, when they should be. That coupled by hyperlexia or an interest in letters and numbers and early reading then that is almost always autism.

Kelsey: Yeah, I know a lot of parents and people when they're two/three years olds, are reading and know letters aloud or they're such a genius and it is such a cool skill to have and, and it can be a beneficial skill. But yeah, when kids can read or know their letters but can't ask you for water, it's probably hyperlexia and, potentially, autism. And so that brings us to our next question, which is in line with this. And it says, Is it a good sign or is it a sign of autism? And should I be concerned or does it mean they are genius and gifted and what can I expect?

Question 2: Is Hyperlexia a sign of Autism or giftedness?

Mary: Yeah, I think this is the biggest misconception. Like I just told you my story. I totally was in that camp of this means he is going to be okay that he's going to. I've had clients where their husband is an engineer or their husband is or they themselves are a scientist or, you know, something very scientific and very academic. And then they're like, wow, you know, my child can read. That means they're going to be like me. They're going to be a famous scientist or they're going to be an engineer. And they take that as a very good sign. I'm not saying Hyperlexia is a bad sign, actually. Interest in letters or reading we can always use that skill. It's a good sign. It's fine. It just means that they probably have autism. And that doesn't mean that they're not going to also have intellectual disability, which happens in a quarter to a third of kids, maybe a half, if you know. And so, you know, we need to utilize the skill. But not get into. They're going to be fine and they don't need anything or you know, if they're going to go to regular preschool or regular general education, kindergarten, you know, just because they know their letters and can read a couple of words and they're probably more advanced in that specific little area. They're probably far behind in other areas and we can't just go, Oh, wow, I'm going to cross my fingers that this all works out because they're showing you that they have some strengths in this area. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves because really what we want to do is we want to back up and teach them words like, So I had this one little boy and. You know, you could tell he was very impaired. He, you know, it took a lot for the parents to even consider autism. They were both highly technical. Mom was a physician. Dad was an engineer or computer software person. And so the child was rocking. The child was, you know, non-speaking. He was two, you know, but he was very you could just tell he was very interested in the letters, even though we didn't present letters or anything. And I said, I think he's, I think he's reading. So what I did and this is kind of how to tell I know this isn't part of the story, or part of the question. But I think it's helpful. So what I did was I wrote down Apple on an index card and I wrote down Cat on another index card and mommy on another index card. And we had pictures of these things, right. So I just put down three pictures and then I didn't say Apple when I handed him the flash card with Apple, I just handed him cards of the names of the items and he matched them perfectly. You know, all ten out of ten. You know, it was clear that he could read the words without me saying what they were. So I was like, okay, all right. So I say that these two parents are highly technical. Now, I just did that little experiment. We are not teaching him to spell or to read. We can't go down that rabbit hole and shape this up even farther. You know, this is not a problem, but we need to teach him to talk. We need to teach him to request his needs. So the next week I go and they have their Mac computer and they say, spell apple. And the kid's like, Hey, he's typing A P P L E, and then spell Barney. He liked Barney B A R N E Y and his big smile on his face, he's looking over and the parents are thrilled. And I'm like, Okay, what part of this did you not understand? Like, we are not teaching him out as well. And to read to and, and the listeners out there maybe be like, well, Mary, it doesn't really show what we want we need to catch the child up on requesting on you know, not banging his head while he's rocking, not getting aggressive, not, you know, we need to teach him imitation. We need to teach him, you know, language comprehension needs to be at the forefront. We need to teach him body part ID, We need to teach him so many things. And if you get into teaching the letter skills, it can a lot of times cause a problem.

Kelsey: Yeah, and I would say, you know, with kids who are a little bit vocal but only say letters or numbers, it is a good sign that they are talking, that they can make sounds, that they can make words. However, like you said, we just can't go down that rabbit hole or it can quickly change from a good sign to really hard to undo. And now you have a kid who might be really resistant to saying any other words besides those words. And so it's a good sign that they have the ability to talk that they motor. I mean, we've done a lot of episodes recently like oral motor, so it's good they can physically make those. So yeah, I love that point.

Mary: Like articulation. We just had Barb Esch on the show. We can link that in the show notes, but you know, one, two, three, those are seven, eight, nine. Those are 1 to 2 syllable words. They're common, you know, A, B, C, they're very among the first sounds like you're pointing out. Kelsey, we can see articulation. We can use letters and numbers as a reinforcer. I had a child who I started with, you know, when he couldn't talk and everything. And we got him talking and he was going to kindergarten and he was going to go to general education, kindergarten. He was doing really, really well. And he's one of the clients that I do not have permission to show any video to, so I never talk about him. But he was going to kindergarten and this child was really hyper focused on numbers and to the point where he would look, obsessing over the clock in the kitchen. Oh, it's 4:19. That's 4:19. Next is going to be 420, you know, like that kind of thing. So the mom would like to cover up the numbers everywhere but at. The same time. She was also giving him number books and kind of, you know, going into. You know, it's a fine line. I mean, I've had people, kids obsessed with things like Google Maps and baseball statistics and, you know, so this child was numbers. Numbers. Numbers everywhere. But I hadn't seen them for a month or two because he was going to go to kindergarten. And I met him at the kindergarten placement while they were taking the summer tour. And I was able to consult with him through like second grade, through the school, which was a very good thing. But during that, the kindergarten visit, he's like, Miss Mary, when's your birthday? And so I told them the day, the date and the year is like, you know, And he goes, That was a Tuesday. And I was like, Well, it is a Tuesday because another autistic individual told me I was born on a Tuesday when I gave them my full birth date. So I was just like. And then he's doing it with everybody. And so I say to the mom, like, when did this start? Like. Like, this wasn't something that I had seen before with him. I had seen it with other autistic adults. And she's like, Yeah, we got him a bunch of calendars. He's really into that. I'm like, That's not what we, you know. And there might be people listening going, Well, that's a splendor skill that's there. That's their special skill. But it can also turn into, you know, I've been with adults, not my clients, who it's like they go into it and then that's a cool skill. And then everybody's like, well, what is? You know, February 3rd, 1955. And then they're, you know, it's like, this isn't functional. And those people that I've I've seen, you know, some of them have been fully conversational and fully functional. And it's just a kind of cool skill. But there's also been people that are living in group homes and have this kind of skill too. So, you know, in the end, I just don't think we want to I did recommend to the mom that she pull back on you know focusing on that skill not give him, you know, algebra books when he's in kindergarten because he was even though he was conversational to a point, he still needed language for learning that language, for thinking that, like, he needed a lot of support. And if we go down this rabbit hole too much, it could cause problems.

Kelsey: Yeah. And it can make other people. Think a child has more skills than they do. And then you get to you're not teaching the assessment and missing skills and then problem behavior starts happening and that's exactly what happens. You know, you think a child has this level of understanding because they're demonstrating it through reading. But really, you know, reading and understanding what you're reading are two very different things or understanding what you're actually doing when you're demonstrating that skill. Two very different things. How can I get my child with hyperlexia to request their wants and needs? Because we're mostly taught a lot of people listening might have young toddlers or preschoolers and they're saying all their letters or reading, but they are really requesting basic needs.

Question 3: How to teach a child with Hyperlexia to request

Mary: Yeah. So back in the fall, we launched a software, an assessment. I did a podcast episode on why we made the digital assessment and all kinds of things. We can link that in the show notes, but basically you start with this digital assessment that takes you 10 minutes and you need to find your child or client's baseline in 10 minutes. Then you take that assessment, you turn it into a plan and you start teaching and teaching with a toddler or preschool, or almost always involves the early learner materials like the shoe box and in puzzles and those sorts of things. So if you have a child that knows all their letters and numbers can read, it doesn't mean that you just, you know, completely like the mom did cover up the clock and the kitchen and things like that. No, it's part of their lives and they like it. So even the inset puzzles, you have to be careful that they don't become too obsessive. So you end up puzzles of animals and of vehicles and maybe. Letters may be numbers and puzzles of colors and shapes and those sorts of things, but you want to be rotating. So if you hold up an egg and you have an insect puzzle and you don't say anything and they say A, you give it to them, that is part request or mand this part tact because they're labeling it. If you say it and they say this part echo, it's following directions to put, you know, they're sitting at the table, they're engaging. You don't want to be doing that straight for 15 minutes. Maybe you want to do, you know, but like your point earlier, Kelsey, we know they can say it. They like to say it. They don't you know, it's part and because they want to put it in. We can use that just like we use video modeling. I did a recent episode on video modeling. We use video modeling at times to jumpstart language. We can use their interest in letters and numbers to also jumpstart language and to get them seated at the table and to, you know, maybe on the iPad, we put apps where it's you pull in the B E D and the bed spins. We don't want the child doing that on their own obsessively. But as part of table time engaging with us, that may be appropriate. But we will also need to have pictures or real items, have 3D items or farm animals. And so we need to use this, but also teach all the names of reinforcers of important people. And it is really important when you are gathering the early learning materials to get flashcards without letters or words on them or to get cheap flashcards where you literally cut them off. So either you get like a language builder set without letters and words on the front or you get cheap ones and you cut off the letters and the words and you can keep those letters and words don't trash you, keep them for other things like matching the the real bed with the picture bed or the picture of the word. But don't do that when they're two or three until you can get their language going. Really focus on the nouns that they need, then the actions that they need and to build words. And, you know, I mean, I know I'm saying this a lot and just trying to explain what we do. The procedures to get table time started are outlined in my book Turn Autism Around. But there step by step in our online courses and community where you really can learn because it's tricky, you know, especially when you have a child who is obsessed or, you know, interested in letters and reading in order to find that balance, because it is a balance, it's a dance, and we don't want to stamp out their special skill or their interest, but we also need to get them to respond, not just talking wise, but also receptivity to follow directions, to understand. Because the boy that could type Apple and Barney and those sorts of things, he is. You know, functioning. He has intellectual disability now functioning more in line with where Lucas will need, you know, probably 24 hour care. And there's some pivotal parts of your life where you don't know, like even I said, with that little boy in kindergarten in first grade, where he was obsessively just over the summer asking about birthdays and and kind of getting into that. And the school wanted to stop language learning and thought he was fine in the classroom. And I was just like, this is a critical time period that, you know, kindergarten to second grade for this little boy. And we don't know if he's going to turn the corner and be able to be in high school without support and go to college and drive, or if he's going to need support, need support to stay alone or live alone. So, you know, not that we have any control over which way is going to go, like for your two boys. Kelsey, were they ever obsessed with letters and reading?

Kelsey: Lincoln No, Lincoln detests reading.

Mary: Yeah. Well, the other thing is, I think hyperlexia is the opposite of dyslexia. Not to say that he has dyslexia, but if he doesn't like reading or has trouble reading, it can be the opposite problem.

Kelsey: Yeah. And so Lincoln can read and he is fully up to grade level now, but he does do 30 minutes twice a week with Amy Evans, who's been on this podcast to do precision teaching.

Mary: We can link that in my show notes. Yeah, Amy Evans came on with Kelsey to talk about Fluency programming with both her boys. So Lincoln is what grade now?

Kelsey: He's in grade two.

Mary: Grade two. And he has done, what did you say, 30 minutes a day of fluency?

Kelsey: He does 30 minutes twice a week. Now we put it down because he doesn't need as much, but he still needs that fluency training twice a week to keep up with his reading because he just doesn't doesn't love it.

Mary: Okay.

Kelsey: And we do it other days at home too. But with Amy.

Mary: And what about Brentley?

Kelsey: Brentley? I wouldn't say he was hyperlexic, but he did always have an interest in letters and knowing letters. And we used a lot of ABC Internet puzzles as reinforcers. So I would have all the pieces with me and I would actually have an ABC puzzle on the table beside a farm puzzle or beside the shoe box or beside the potato head. And I would do the potato head parts eye, eye, eye and he'd put it in and then, you know, we might do that a few times. And then I would give him a letter, or he would request A and he would get a he wanted all the pieces to complete the puzzle. So we would use that as a reinforcer. And as he got.

Mary: To an age where we would teach.

Kelsey: Him reading, we made sure not to do sight word reading and really back up with him to phonics. And we took years teaching him all the components of reading, and now he can fully read any book and he'll sound out words that he doesn't know using phonics. However, I decided to focus on that first and then come up with the comprehension. He does understand what he reads in a very, very simple book. Technically, he could probably read a chapter book, but I wouldn't give him that. We read very simple books and ask very simple WH questions because his comprehension is much lower than his actual decoding ability, which is at grade level four. He's technically in grade three.

Mary: Yeah. Yeah, that's a good point. We really need to build that comprehension. In my online courses, I have a book program that I developed to boost up comprehension. And basically you want to get really simple books like one line per book. Read it to the child or with the child that the child can read. They can read it. But then before we move on to the next page, we need to get the child to answer questions. And this is obviously a child who can speak, who can. They don't have to read. You could read them, but it's not like it's very simple books and very simple questions. And we want them to get 80% of the answers to our questions. So if the questions are basic enough, like what's this called? And they say cow or, you know, if that's in their repertoire. So that's important to build comprehension because I think in last week's show I talked about another boy who was reading chapter books, but comprehending the passage he read about 9/11 on September 11th and like 2005 when I went to consult for the first time. The other thing you said, which triggered something else, was using the puzzle like on the side of a farm puzzle, is I used a puzzle and it's a puzzle with the letters as reinforcers for a feeding program once for a child. So he was a child who only drank out of a bottle, only drank almond milk out of a bottle, and ate gluten free crackers. That's it. Except for the occasional McDonald's fries. If you drove through and had hot fries and we took him to Keith Williams, who we've done a podcast with, we can link him in the show notes as well. He's an international feeding expert, a BCBA. But anyway, we use these, you know, so he would take a bite and then he would get a letter and build the puzzle. So we definitely want to use these skills and this interest to reinforce. Yeah, Yeah.

Question 4: What can I do for Hyperlexia and frequent related scripting?

Kelsey: And then the next one is my child has Hyperlexia scripts that they have read frequently and is very focused on that topic. What can I do?

Mary: Yeah, so scripting I've done a lot of...I've done podcasts, I've done video blogs. We can link those in the show notes. Scripting is stimulating. It's again, it's not something bad. It's just that when you script or when you have. It's just. In the long run. Scripting. If they're scripting at school, if they're scripting in their ABA program, it's like they're doodling and they're not paying attention. So we are stim. Everybody stims, right? All of our leisure activities are stimming. You're shooting baskets at a net and you want to get it in. Okay. So that's a stim playing the violin and hearing the note, the notes. Right. Playing it better, that's all stimming. Even flipping through your phone on Facebook or watching reality TV or reading a novel, those are all stim self stimulatory behavior. It's what we do to keep our mind active and busy and our neurons firing when no one's engaging us. However, Excessive stimming and scripting is a problem because if you are trying to engage a child, it'd be like me watching reality TV and I'm all into it. And then you're trying to get my attention to teach me algebra. Like. I am focused on this. I am. Or if I kept singing a song or saying the same thing over and over again. My mind is not. I'm not available for learning. And the boy who was reading the September 11th passage from last week's episode. He was in sixth grade at the time, and he had a lot of scripting. It wasn't like scripting from a movie, for one thing, but it was like I would call that nonsense language because, I mean, I went in and I was just like, Oh my goodness, you know, he's reading a passage. He has no comprehension. And he's saying things like, Can I hop like a kangaroo? And he'd throw a ball and he'd say, Stop throwing the ball as he was throwing the ball. And he would say, Miss Mary has a striped shirt on or Miss Mary has earrings on. And just like in the middle of us trying to teach him language for learning. Like, I was just like, Oh my goodness, there's a lot going on here. And so I asked the staff to count how many nonsense languages he had per day, and it was 500, and they counted per interval. So in every 15 minutes they would have a clicker, which I don't recommend counting problem behaviors with a clicker any more. But these were the olden days when we counted everything with a clicker. And so if he'd say Miss Mary has a striped shirt on when they click, he'd say, Can I hop like a kangaroo? They'd click. And then at the end of the 15 minutes of language arts, they would write down 43, not, you know, they were basically defective mands for attention. And when I went back, it was like 500 a day. And the intervals, it was interesting because the intervals with next to no scripting or defective manding were typing. And you think about typing your brain, you're not saying, Oh, the A keys here you are, your mind when you really type like not the poke poke kind of typing, but when you really type your mind is is trained to look and and your hands are, are going fluently without you thinking about it. But your mind has to be calm. You can't be scripting Miss Mary has a striped shirt as you're typing A S D whatever those things are. So what we did with this child is we, we increased the typing things. We really tried to calm him down, from overly scripting. We got a VB program in place where he, you know, because if he was labeling cards and doing mixed VB, maybe he was good. And as he got older, he was doing things that kept his mind busy, like focusing on learning a new skill at the bakery or focusing on something that would keep him busy. His scripting was super low. So we used these kinds of procedures to actually place him in work conditions where he wasn't scripting and separating because you can imagine, like him going to a restaurant to work as a busboy, it would be very disruptive to the patrons of the restaurant to have him. Oh, I like your fries. Oh, I like hamburgers. You know, it's just like. That wouldn't have been a good fit. But him working more in a factory setting was a great fit because he was a great worker and his mind was busy while he was working. And so. I don't think we need to stamp out scripting if you're by yourself and if the child is by themselves or watching a movie and they want a script and that's their fun, great. But in learning situations, we really need to, people in and the intermediate course type feature a little girl who had 90% of the intervals was scripting when I started with her. And you know, three years later, her scripting was pretty much gone. People are like, Well, how did you do that? Three years of great programing and great teaching and great reinforcement and great data collection where we are not reacting to the scripting, just going, okay, what kind of things are best? For our learning.

Kelsey: Yeah, I think. I think that's great. And I think yes, when a child is alone and needs to be stimulated that way and you have nothing else to stimulate them, that's good. But then looking at what skills can I teach and what stops, what engages their mind enough to stop this. And also noticing like a two year old scripting does not mean they're going to script forever. Again, it's a good sign that they're talking that they have those sounds. And as you build skills and continue to build skills with good programming by using your assessment. It'll likely go down the less and the less they're allowed to just sit alone with their favorite books and read them over and over and over. And more time is spent engaged, learning at the table. The more you'll see that go down without you needing to do. You know, some crazy intervention on the scripting.

Mary: Yeah. One of the things you just said was read the same books over and over again. A big part of my book program is actually to go to the library every week and to exchange books so that we aren't getting the same repetitive, you know, movies are the same thing, you know, now with iPads and electronics, you know, it's very easy to have the child hyperfocus on one video or one character videos or one, you know. So the more we can get them out of the same things over and over again. You know, the better they're going to do. Yes, exactly.

Question 5: How can you use words, letters, and numbers in teaching a child with Hyperlexia?

Kelsey: So that brings us to our last question. Is it okay to use words, letters and numbers in teaching, or what should the focus be? And I mean, I think we've answered that over and over today.

Mary: But any last thoughts on that? And I think the younger kids, you know, you have to think about if you have a young child, the two or three. Think about the things that they're going to learn in a three year old preschool. You know, they might have yellow if the color is this week's color or go find yellow items in your house and you know instead of you know, you can pair the word yellow. But they probably are going to pair the words. You know, banana like tried to tone it down. You don't want to teach them. To read like a first grader when they're two or three because. It's going to. It's going to stand out as not necessarily a positive thing, especially if they don't have good sitting behavior. They don't have good language comprehension. You know, by the time I was two or three years old, I'd been working on a lot of tolerating books, reading, you know, asking questions about the book, taking turns, answering the questions, imitation, manding, those kinds of early skills, because we can use their interest. Like we talked about the whole show. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. And if as the child ages, just watch for those forks in the road where you're like, you know, we're really. You know, memorizing too much of one thing at the expense of everything else. I mean, there's lots of adult autistic individuals who are really savants. I don't know if we've used that word. But for those of you who've watched the movie Rainman with Dustin Hoffman, and if you haven't, you should probably watch that. But there was you know, he was portraying an adult with autism who lived in an institution and had savant skills, had special skills and a lot of ability to do numbers at gambling resorts and knew people's birthdays and knew the days they were born based on the date and year. So we were every step, I would just say, what are grade three kids doing? What do our third graders, you know, three year olds, do in preschool? What are two year olds doing? And treat the delays. You use these strengths as really reinforcers, ability to to assess their articulation and all kinds of things. But then we need to really teach everything they need to know to to get those weaknesses up, to get them functioning as highly as possible. And, you know, our goal for everybody is to be as safe as possible, as independent as possible, and as happy as possible. So use letters, use words, use whatever to get those three areas shaped up. But I think hopefully that was helpful in answering these questions. I think between last week's episode 225 and this week's episode of 226. I think we covered most of the big topics on Hyperlexia. If you're listening and you have another hyperlexia question, you can always email us at info at But I would really encourage you to look at the online courses and community too, because we do talk about hyperlexia quite a bit there too.

Kelsey: Yeah, quite a bit. Quite a bit for sure.

Mary: All right. Well, thank you for your time, Kelsey. And have a good one, everyone. I'll see you or you'll hear me next week, same time, same place. If you're a parent or an autism professional and enjoy listening to this podcast. You have to come check out my online course and community where we take all of this material and we apply it. You'll learn life changing strategies to get your child or clients to reach their fullest potential. Join me for a free online workshop at where you can learn how to avoid common mistakes. You can see videos of me working with kids with and without autism and you can learn more about joining my online course and community at a very special discount. Once again go to for all the details. I hope to see you there.