Mission Of Complex

Since early 1993, our family has been coping, working and, yes, succeeding, in dealing with our oldest son Nate’s hyperlexia. Now almost 20, Nate has achieved what many thought was impossible: he has just finished his freshman year of college at SUNY-Cobleskill, with respectable grades too!

Hyperlexia is on the autism spectrum and literally means “too many words.” It is marked by a precocious ability to read, coupled with an inability to conduct real conversation and, dare I say it, “normal” social interaction. Fortunately for us he was diagnosed at 3 1/2 years old, through the Center for Speech and Language Disorders in Elmhurst, IL.  Through their great work in twice a week sessions (CSLD was a short drive from our Lincolnshire home in suburban Chicago), we’ve been able to draw out Nate’s vast intelligence.

That’s not to say it’s been easy. Oh no, it’s not to say that at all. Nate is not independent, though he seeks that more and more. Nate has strong support at home from his parents and two brothers and still needs a one on one aide to bring him to school and back.

Mission of Complex? That’s typical Nate word play on “Mission Accomplished,”  and one of our favorite bits of Nate-speak. What I hope this blog can do is give help and solace to parents struggling with younger kids posed with similar challenges. I know that when Nate was 9 or 10, we were desperate for stories, any stories, of a 20-year-old like Nate. There weren’t many, let only ones that ended up with a kid in college! How we got here from there is a fascinating story, at times frustrating, at times funny, at all times rewarding.

Our family has never presented ourselves as inspirational people, or as experts in autism or hyperlexia. Yet, we find ourselves living in the midst of an inspiring story, with much to offer. The Mission of Complex blog will share stories, memories, paths taken and, hopefully, serve as a sounding board for families and professionals who are looking for fellow travelers who are a bit further on up the road.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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4 Responses to Mission Of Complex

  1. Mr WordPress says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. gr82chat says:

    I have just discovered this blog .. looking forward to reading it in it’s entirety. I have a son with autism/hyperlexia that is now 12 years old. He was diagnosed just before his 3rd birthday. It will be interesting to see what the similarities and differences are with our journeys. Regards Tara

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