Speller with Asperger’s Syndrome Competes in His Second National Spelling Bee

Local News

There are 17 spellers from the lone star state competing in the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

14-year-old Grant Taylor has 30,000 words in his ‘word bank,’ and says he’s ready to hit the national stage.

“The longest word I’ve ever seen is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanosis,” said Taylor.

Grant’s mom, Jennifer Taylor, says she knew her son was special at an early age.

“Before he was two years old he was teaching himself cursive,” she said.

Grant was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a disorder on the autism spectrum when he was 2.

Family members are forthcoming with others about his condition and said they are proud of him.

This year is bittersweet for Taylor because his second trip to the National Spelling Bee will be his last, as he will have surpassed the age restriction next year.

His parents call it the end of an era, but Taylor said it’s just the beginning.

“I might want to become an editor and fix spelling mistakes, because they just bug me. They just bug me,” he said.

His mother said he will go through two oral rounds on Wednesday, and he will find out Wednesday night if he will advance to finals if he gets both words right in those two rounds.

Those rounds are from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:15-6 p.m., and they will be live on ESPN 3.

The finals will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday on ESPN 2, and will conclude at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, which will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Grant is speller No. 136.

Taylor’s mom, Jennifer, also said all spellers at the bee received an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite on arrival.

The 14-year-old eighth-grader at Lubbock Christian School advanced to the national bee after he won the 66th A-J Media Regional Spelling Bee in March. 

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