Getting a solid diagnosis for Connor was difficult. He was definitely Autism Spectrum according to various doctors who evaluated him but where on the spectrum he fell was hard to determine. Part of it was because I noticed that he was “testing” evaluators. Because he was not talking, Connor could not tell doctors their tests were boring him and too easy. Instead I noticed he was looking at the correct answers, looking at the doctors and then pointing to the wrong answer. I was told many times I was in denial about Connor’s severity. No, I was not. I observed Connor closely. After fighting with several doctors, I was able to get Connor into a specialist and Children’s in DC. My instructions were simple: watch his eyes, not his fingers. When he starts to make mistakes, he is bored, make things more challenging. The doctor did and finally stopped testing. Academically there was nothing wrong with the kid. There were no delays as the other doctors insisted, if anything, Connor was well advanced of his age. Not long after, we would stumble upon the correct diagnosis through research being done at Georgetown University by a Dr Guinevere Eden looking at the dyslexic and hyperlexic brain and differences. Connor was Hyperlexic, and at age 5 was one of the youngest they had seen correctly diagnosed. Often hyperlexic children are categorized as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger’s or other conditions on or off the Autism Spectrum. This lack of proper diagnosis often means improper work for years which can lead to other problems. Connor was accepted into the research in 2004, shortly after his sister, Sarah, was born.
Through encouraging the use of technology and working with our own pets, I feel my husband and I were able to help Connor’s development. We also have to say there have been many wonderful teachers and school administrators over the years that have listened to me, challenged Connor academically and aided with his social development. Bringing to where he is now has certainly been a team effort!”