Saturday, 15 April 2017

Hyperlexia and its meaning by Dyslexia Dublin © 2017

What is Hyperlexia? …let’s take a look

 Norman E. Silberberg and Margaret C. Silberberg (1967), were the first two to really coin this, they described it as “the precocious ability to read words without prior training (tubula rasa) in learning to read, typically before the age of 5, deemed the normal start point for reading”.
This is a syndrome that has many positive and negative facets.
Those with hyperlexia generally have a high decoding ability (words).
They also have an above average IQ and many link this to both Aspergers and Dyslexia.
One of the many facets is the problem with oral skill and the understanding of others.
In spite of all the above they can lack in comprehension.
Contradiction to the above as is often the case comes in the form of one Darold Treffert, he maintains that Hyperlexia has certain subtypes, only some of which overlap with autism,  with just 5-10% of autistic children being hyperlexic.

Fair facts
Hyperlexic children are often fascinated by letters or numbers. They are extremely good at decoding language and thus often become very early readers.
Some hyperlexic children learn to spell long words (such as elephant) before they are two years old and learn to read whole sentences before they turn three.

A fairly shallow trial showed:
A study of a single child showed that hyperlexia may be the neurological opposite of dyslexia.
Because of its complexity, it’s very often overlooked through mis-diagnosis.
Hyperlexics need to learn through rote (overlearning), this is shared with dyslexics.
They also share difficulty in learning the rules of language.
A precocious skill in reading above their expected age.
Difficulty in having relationships and lack social skills.
Certain phobias are evident in some.
Heavily fixated with text and numerics.
Almost military in keeping habits and routines.
Monkey see monkey do, they can be heard repeating a certain word time over.
Unlike many dyspraxics and dyslexics, they hit early milestones and then fall back… usually around two years of age. They can even revert back to crawling/bum shuffling.
Again like dyspraxics, they have selective hearing and often this is due to singular focus.

They have a very strong visual memory.
Again like dyspraxics, they can hand flap, rock or make sudden movements.

Many of the above as mentioned cross over with dyspraxia. This could be due to the same areas of the brain being slightly immature.
I can hear you saying the same.

I can see myself in so much of this article.

NB. This information is from personal experience and research and also partly sourced through the work of others. It is purely for improving the understanding of dyslexia and offering helpful advice. Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2017

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I hope you found this article useful… there are many more, including one on homework, on our Blog(

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