What is the difference between hyperlexia and autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Additional diagnoses are often made in people with autism. In order to support those affected, it is important to understand their special needs. Only when their basic needs have been met are they able to develop and learn new things.

Overlaps, combinations and hybrids of ADHD and an autism spectrum disorder are very common. The term ADHD is characterized in DSM-5 by three groups of symptoms: attention deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity. A distinction is also made between three subtypes: 1. Combined - symptoms from all three groups present, 2. predominantly inattentive - without hyperactivity, 3. predominantly hyperactive-impulsive.

Epilepsy is a condition in which epileptic seizures occur repeatedly. These seizures are due to dysfunction of the cranial nerve cells. During the seizure, electrical discharges occur between the cranial nerve cells through which uncontrolled “commands” are passed on to the body. These show up in the affected person in a seizure. Epileptic seizures (spasms of the whole body, twitching of parts of the body, or impaired consciousness) are many different types and can occur in anyone of any age.

One in 100 people has epilepsy. People with autism are at an increased risk, between 20% and 40%, of developing epilepsy. This rate increases with age.

Certain behaviors of people with autism, such as repetitive behavior or staring at things and people, can act like epileptic seizures. All signs must be examined by a specialist.

Down syndrom
There are people who have a double diagnosis. You have autism and Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a lifelong disability in which those affected are slow to develop. Although Down syndrome cannot be cured, it is possible to make everyday life easier for those affected with targeted support and to enable them to lead a happy and independent life. Down syndrome is diagnosed after birth at the latest. It occurs when babies have an extra chromosome 21.

All people with Down syndrome have learning difficulties. Children with Down syndrome learn the basic skills and abilities (walking, using the toilet on their own, etc.), but their development is delayed, skill learning takes longer, and they need more support than neurotypical children.

Like children with autism, children with Down syndrome often learn better with visual assistance.

People with hyperlexia are very fascinated by letters and numbers and often have the ability to read in early childhood, before their peers. Despite their unusual way of dealing with language (e.g. reading backwards, large language memory), they have difficulties understanding verbal language and interacting with other people. Hyperlexia is a possible sign of an autism spectrum disorder.

Learning disability
People with autism can have different degrees of learning disabilities. These limitations in learning can affect many aspects of their lives (difficulties in: studying at school, grooming themselves, preparing meals, etc.). There are those affected who can live independently, but these people also need a lot of support from their environment to achieve this. Other sufferers need lifelong support that is specialized in their special needs. There are people with autism who do not have a learning disability, but nevertheless have special learning difficulties such as dyslexia (= people who have normal vision and hearing have difficulty reading and understanding words or texts).