Supporting Hyperlexia and Giftedness

“My proposed solution is simple: don’t waste a lot of time and money pushing kids in directions they don’t want to go. Instead, find out what weirdness they excel at and encourage them to do that. Then get out of the way.” – Seth Godin

2025375662Always two steps ahead…

When they’re at school, they know the answers the teacher is missing.

They get in trouble for overcorrecting others (including their instructors)…

… or for doodling, because they’re bored with work they knew how to do three years ago.

As their parents, you might joke that they’re smarter than you. You know first-hand how fast you have to move to keep up with their curiosity, interests, memory, and knowledge.

Being bright, knowing things, and thinking faster than others isn’t as easy as people think. In fact, it can be really hard for a kid.

But as advanced as they seem…

They’re still children. You might have to remind yourself of that from time to time.

And there are times when they might seem socially and emotionally younger than their peers.

Perhaps you remember when they were little how they loved playing with letters and numbers the way other kids played with dolls.

Maybe they inhaled languages, countries, and Presidents while their peers watched nursery shows.

They may have taught themselves to read or play an instrument while other kids played hide-and-seek outside.

2044430357When a child thinks they’re ahead of everyone else…

It can be lonely…

… because they feel like they’re doing everything on their own.

It can provoke anxiety…

… because they feel the responsibility of believing they know more than the adults around them, which can lead them to feel they need to run everyting.

It can be frustrating…

… because they’re always having to wait for others to catch up.

It’s not easy for you as their parent either!

Ever try to set limits or come up with choices or restrictions… only to be out-negotiated by your child? Sometimes they come up with a better way to solve everyone’s problem! What do you do? Do you assert your authority or praise them for their creativity?

You’re probably familiar with defiance and sarcasm when you ask them to do anything. It probably comes across as arrogance and disrespect. You try not to get triggered by it, but dealing with it constantly wears you down.

If you’ve tried talking to other parents about how your kid is “too smart for their good,” they probably respond like you’re bragging.

You know your child is “gifted,” but it doesn’t feel like a gift when they’re isolated, sullen, and “talking back” because they think no one can keep up with them.

1540561286Unfortunately, things aren’t the “breeze” they should be at school.

They may start to hate school because they’re tired of being the only one in class every year at their level… or because they don’t want to do the regular classwork AND more challenging work.

It almost sounds like a blessing when the teacher says it shouldn’t be a problem since they’re so smart… but it’s not. Your child is probably shutting down because they don’t want to do any of it. Meanwhile, on their own, you see them researching calculus, physics, or sciences you never knew in school.

You probably see them struggling socially at school, too. You sense that your child wants to connect with others more than anything, but they’re trapped behind a sarcastic, beyond-their-years armor (and you have no idea where it came from).

It hurts when you see how they’re alienated from their peers or always a little off in their communication because they have different interests from other kids. You see how they can’t tolerate small talk and sometimes miss social cues or transitions in their excitement, leaving others uncertain about their mood or intent.

465884015Are you tired of getting label after label?

You’re very familiar with their “intelligence” and all that comes with it. It feels like a type of neurodivergence all its own. But labels like “gifted,” “twice-exceptional (2E),” “Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA),” “Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD),” or “hyperlexia” don’t seem to help.

At Nurtured Hope, we have lived and professional experience with all of these letters.

We know how to reframe and interpret behaviors that may appear contradictory at first glance but may be ways of coping.

We have patience and tolerance… and we don’t judge. Instead, we nurture your child, creating a safe space for them where you and your child can learn, understand, and accept each other.

At the same time, we’ll form a bridge for community support, troubleshoot those thoughts that make you second-guess yourself as a parent, and rebuild the connections at home that can become fragile in the crosshairs of a million mental directions going at once.

Children do well when they can.

– Dr. Ross Greene, “Collaborative Problem Solving”

1177653883This is our passion. Let us help!

Twice-exceptional and gifted children have needs for support that are too often missed in school and at home.

They may not be as open about those needs, or those needs may be voiced in ways that are hard to hear.

Instructors may overlook their academic needs or not be aware of supports that could help them with attention, engaged interest, or anxiety.

They deserve the same attention as other neurodivergent children, and we can help!

Contact us for a free consultation to explore how you can best advocate for your little one: (786) 401-5603.