Thomas Sowell wrote the books Late Talking Children and The Einstein Syndrome about a subgroup of late talkers from families involved in math and music.  Children in this group may display some characteristics comparable to autistic children but are not autistic:

  • interest in spinning objects
  • sensitivity to sounds
  • interest in lining up toys
  • passionate interest in Thomas the Train

However, in the case of this niche of late talkers, their brains develop differently; they develop math and musical capabilities first and then speech.

Some of these children are misdiagnosed with developmental delays.  Others are misdiagnosed as autistic.  The risk with this subgroup is if they are misdiagnosed, intervention methods that work with PDD or autistic children actually delay or harm their speech acquisition.

After these children begin to speak and grow up, they often go into science or musical fields.  Many late talking children have children who are also late talkers, who have interests in the same fields.

Families on this road face a long, lonely path.  The first step on this road is getting an accurate diagnosis.  These often involves a range of specialists.  These families don’t “settle” for a diagnosis but seek to get the correct one.

Twelve years ago, a group of these families began an email support list which has grown to over 500 families worldwide.  Many of those who started the list now serve as encouragers for new families. 

This blog is the story of our children, of our struggles, and how we helped our children overcome them.

Dr. Sowell has worked with Dr. Stephen Camerata of Vanderbilt University to better understand this subgroup.