Parents get very excited when their very small child at a very precocious age begins to read as though he or she is the next protégé or reading genius.
It is sometimes coupled with:
- A significant difficulty to understand language
- An obsession with letters and numbers
- Tremendous socialization and interaction difficulties similar to those seen in children with autism
In fact, it has many characteristics similar to:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Language disorders
- Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder
- Hearing impairments
- Intellectual disabilities
Because of this, it is often misdiagnosed.
There are three basic types of hyperlexia:
- Hyperlexia I: Neurotypical children who are early readers
- Hyperlexia II: Early readers who are on the autism spectrum
- Hyperlexia III: Early readers who carry traits of autism and some have Asperger’s Syndrome
Another Way to Think About Hyperlexia
Treating hyperlexia should be similar to treating other developmental disorders, autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities such as:
- Implementing a biomedical approach
- Changing your child’s diet
- Going organic
- Cleaning up the gastrointestinal tract
- Improving the microbiome
- Greening your home environment
- Including good quality fats and essential fatty acids in your child’s diet
- Addressing environmental and food allergies
- Testing for nutritional deficits
- Supporting methylation
- Supplementing with nutritional supplements
- Starting a detoxification protocol
Also very helpful is finding appropriate therapies that can improve your child’s hyperlexia.
Vision therapy is very important for children with hyperlexia, so finding a behavioral optometrist in your area would be at the top of the list.
Other therapies that can help your child’s brain imbalance are:
Other important therapies include:
- Chiropractic neurology (balancing the right and left hemispheres of the brain)
- Brain Gym (hand eye coordination)
- Reflex integration therapy
- Occupational therapy with sensory integration
- Auditory Integration Therapy (Berard) or Sound Stimulation (Tomatis)
- Brain Balance
- GemIIni speech therapy
A Hyperlexia Checklist to Start
Make dietary changes:
- Eat whole foods
- Buy organic foods
- Remove all GMO foods
- Remove all fast and processed foods
- Remove all foods with:
- Artificial colors
- Artificial ingredients
- With an elimination diet, remove potentially inflammatory foods such as:
- Strictly limit:
- Refined salt
- Refined carbohydrates
- Consider implementing a low glutamate diet and/or the Feingold diet
Include plenty of good quality fats, such as:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Wild salmon
- Organic chicken
- Organic turkey
- Grass-fed ghee
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Grass-fed beef
- Essential fatty acids from:
- Cod liver oil
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
- Evening primrose oil
- Borage oil
- Walnut oil
Remove vegetable oils such as:
Include plenty of high-quality proteins with every meal, such as:
- Pasture-raised eggs and chicken
- Grass-fed beef
- Wild-caught fish
Heal the gut with special diets such as:
- GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) diet
- Paleo diet
- GF/CF (gluten-free/casein-free) diet
- Body Ecology Diet
- Modified Atkins Diet (replaces the Ketogenic diet)
Learn more about healing diets and foods.
Clean up your environment:
- Remove animals (both live and stuffed!)
- Remove carpets
- Use non-toxic cleaners
- Use non-toxic building materials
- Green your home
Ask your pediatrician to run some laboratory tests for:
- Possible food sensitivities and allergies
- Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) IgG, IgA, IgE and IgM
- Nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. The NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs covers the following areas:
- Cellular energy
- Mitochondrial metabolism
- Neurotransmitter metabolism
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Toxin exposure
- Detoxification need
- Bacterial and yeast overgrowth
- Gluten and casein sensitivities
- Organic acids: The organic acid test by Great Plains Laboratory for yeast overgrowth and Candida, oxalates, and other microbial infections
- Neurotransmitters: Neurorelief (Neurosciences Laboratory) is a specialty lab that tests neurotransmitters to determine chemical imbalances in the brain
Use homeopathy specific for:
- Learning disabilities:
- Baryta carbonica
- Calcarea carbonica
- Baryta iodatum
- Carcarea phosphorica
- Anacardium orientale
- Agaricus muscarius
- Thuja occidentalis
- Ammonium carbonicum
- Crotalus horridus
- Nux vomica
- Lycopodium clavatum
- Thuja occidentalis
- Lycopodium clavatum
- Consider using Schueller’s cell tissue salts which can be effective as well.
- Sequential homeopathy can also be specific for learning disabilities, if needed.
Add fermented foods and probiotics daily:
These will keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong.
- Eat kefir yogurts
- Eat fermented vegetables
- Eat umeboshi plums (very alkalizing)
- Eat miso soup, if soy is tolerated
Some good probiotics are:
- Gut Pro
- Dr. Ohirra’s Live Cultured Probiotics
- Garden of Life
- Klaire Labs
Use herbs, essential oils and natural supplements with your practitioner’s guidance:
- Neuromins DHA
- MCT coconut oil
- Frankincense oil
- Trace minerals
- Methylcobalamin B12
- Folinic acid or 5MTHF
- Cognitive amino acids
- Lavender oil
- Essential fatty acid
- Grapeseed extract
- Gotu kola
- Gingko biloba
- Dimethylglycine (DMG)
- Vitamin D3
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC): helps with detoxification process and healing of the gastrointestinal tract
- MSM transdermal cream
- Epsom salts bath
Use digestive aids with your practitioner’s guidance:
- Betaine hydrochloric acid
- Digestive enzymes with DPP-IV for gluten and casein intolerances
- Proteolytic enzymes
Help your child detoxify:
Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children
See a behavioral/developmental optometrist:
A developmental optometrist can check for convergence and tracking problems with your child’s vision.
He or she can correct these issues with vision therapy, lens and prisms.
Doing so can improve hand-eye coordination and school performance.
Learn about retained primitive reflexes:
Most, if not all, children with neurodevelopmental disorders including learning disabilities, have retained primitive reflexes.
Find a therapist that is trained in integrating primitive reflexes, which can cause imbalances in the way your child’s brain performs.
See a chiropractic neurologist at a Brain Balance Center:
The Brain Balance program can help balance the right and left brain hemispheres and make neural connections to extinguish primitive reflexes.
See a neurofeedback practitioner:
Neurofeedback is approved as a level-one intervention by the American Academy of Pediatrics for ADD and ADHD, which are learning disabilities.
Even if your child doesn’t have ADD or ADHD, they may still benefit from neurofeedback.
Find a practitioner that can perform a QEEG (quantitative electroencephalograph) brain map first so you can understand how your child’s brain works.
See a sensory-integration occupational therapist:
These OTs address a variety of sensory issues with a child using hands-on equipment. This type of therapy calms down the nervous system to help integrate the senses and retained reflexes.
See a chiropractor:
A chiropractor can perform spinal cord adjustments, which can improve communication in the nervous system.
See a craniosacral practitioner:
Craniosacral therapy can reestablish central nervous system functioning.
See an auditory therapist:
Many children with learning disabilities have auditory processing problems that may be causing problems with focus and concentration.
An auditory therapist can devise a listening program that is specific to your child’s needs.
Find a therapist doing Brain Gym:
A Brain Gym practitioner can have your child do exercises for sensorimotor coordination, self-calming and self-management.
See a homeopath or naturopath:
These practitioners can diagnose and treat gastrointestinal disorders naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.
Still Looking for Answers?
Join us at Healing Together, where you’ll find even more resources plus a community to support you, every step of the way.
Sources & References
Zablotsky, B., et al. Prevalence and Trends of Developmental Disabilities among Children in the United States: 2009-2017. Pediatrics. 2019 Oct;144(4):e20190811.