Reading skills in children diagnosed with hyperlexia:
There is a great deal of attention these days, appropriately, to autistic spectrum disorder ASD. It is a serious condition and deserves serious attention. But discussions continue whether an apparent increase in the disorder is due to expanding criteria and better identification, or whether there is in fact an actual increase in incidence and prevalence.
Because, as elsewhere in medicine, the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name from both clinical and research standpoints. One example of an area where that becomes especially important is hyperlexia—children who read early.
These are messages from concerned parents wondering about certain unusual, but remarkable, savant-like skills including precocious music, art, or math skills for example. This is usually coupled with an intense fascination with letters or numbers.
In such precocious readers, in spite of intense preoccupation and ability with words, there are, correspondingly, significant problems in understanding and expressing verbal language. Comprehension of that which is masterfully read is often poor, and thinking is concrete and literal.
There is difficulty with, and paucity of, abstract thinking. And equally important, the good news is that there are very different, positive outcomes in children with this advanced reading ability depending on the type of hyperlexia present.
Hyperlexia, Type I These are very bright, neurotypical children who simply read early to the amazement of their The origin and early detection of hyperlexia, grandparents, teachers, peers, and parents of their peers. Often one or both parents have read frequently and patiently to their children.
Soon however the child is actually reading the words in the book, rather than just memorizing them, and that reading ability can then be transferred to other books. The child is a precocious reader at that point and is reading at a first or second grade level in pre-school, kindergarten or even before.
At some point, of course, most of the other children in the class catch up as they learn to read at the usual pace. This group of bright, neurotypical children who read early I classify as having hyperlexia, type I. They read voraciously usually with astonishing memory for what they read, often accompanied by other memorization skills and abilities, sometimes linked with number or even calendar calculating capability.
These cases include the several sub-types of autistic disorder such as early onset, classic early infantile autism, or later onset, regressive, autism to name several.
Clinical presentation, course of the illness and prognosis are those seen in characteristic autistic spectrum disorders. These children also read early, often show striking memorization abilities, and sometimes have precocious abilities in other areas as well.
For example, they may show unusual sensory sensitivity to sounds, touch or taste. There may be fascination with and insistence on routine with resistance to change. Unlike many autistic children, however, they tend to both seek and give affection and are generally more social, more outgoing, more interactive and less withdrawn than children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
They do tend to make eye contact and can be very interactive with persons close to them although typically they are more comfortable with adults than peers. These children are quite bright, inquisitive, and precocious overall. Interest in, and mastery of, reading coupled with the enhanced memorization ability is conspicuous and quite amazing.
But in my view, rather, this better outcome is because the child did not have Autistic Spectrum Disorder to begin with. The prognosis for these children, based on correspondence and follow up with many parents, is in a word, excellent. The purpose of this article is not to discuss either autistic spectrum disorder or hyperlexia in depth.
Many parents who had inquired on my website about their child with accelerated, savant-like precocious reading ability, obtained considerable help, and relief, when, in those particular instances, the diagnostic and treatment approaches consistent with the above were followed.
Hopefully, as the literature continues to evolve on hyperlexia, there will be more clarification regarding the classification of hyperlexia into its component sub-groups, and then even more resources will emerge for comprehensive evaluation and application of appropriate treatment principles to individuals in both group II and group III.
An almost identical circumstance is seen in some very bright children who happen to speak late. Like reading early, speaking late in children can have several causes, including but not limited to autism, and a comprehensive differential diagnostic work-up is vital in making the final diagnosis and prescribing appropriate treatment and education strategies.
In summary, several conditions can contribute to the circumstance in which children read early or speak late. Sometimes those symptoms can be associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorder—but not always.
In both children who read early or speak late, a comprehensive workup by a clinician skilled in diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder, and a workup by a skilled Speech and Language therapist are indicated with emphasis on differential diagnosis being careful not to apply any diagnosis prematurely.
Sometimes, in difficult cases, observing the natural history of the disorder without applying a definitive label is the preferred course until the true nature of the condition reveals itself.So between that and the lack of results via Google, I am disappointed in the information on hyperlexia and hypernumeracy available to parents like me.
Less than two weeks after, I found myself at a meeting for parents at Autism Services. The origin and early detection of hyperlexia Posted at h in Novedades by It is characterized by a triad of the origin and early detection of hyperlexia limited or absent verbal.
Reading Comprehension for Children with Hyperlexia - A Scaffolding Method. 1Master of Education (Special Education Candidature), Early Childhood& Special Education,National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 2- Associate Professor, Early Childhood& Special Education,National Institute of Education, Nanyang.
However, there are screening programs for the early detection of all of these “cancers”: self-examination and mammography for breast cancer, PSA blood tests for prostate cancer, colonoscopy for colon cancer, dermatological examinations for skin cancer, etc.
Hyperlexia is a syndrome characterized by a child's precocious ability to read. It was initially identified by Norman E. Silberberg and Margaret C. Silberberg (), who defined it as the precocious ability to read words without prior training in learning to read, typically before the age of 5.
Lamônica DA, Gejão MG, Prado LM, Ferreira AT. Hyperlexia is characterized by spontaneous and early acquisition of reading skills, manifested before the age of five, without any formal education.
Expressive and receptive language deficit, excellent memory, delayed language skills, echolalia.