Hyperlexia is described as a syndrome where children have the precocious ability to read words and sentences far beyond their chronological age. Some children read as early as 15 months old. Although these children can read words at an early age, they are unable to comprehend its meaning and also lag in speech and social skills.
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Hyperlexia is a condition where a person — often a young child — has word-reading skills that are far above his or her reading comprehension skills, verbal functioning level, or general cognitive functioning Grigorenko et al. In typically developing children, single-word reading and reading comprehension often develop together, although this is certainly not always the case e. Oakhill et al.
Hyperlexia is a syndrome that is characterized by a child's precocious ability to read far above what would be expected at their agesignificant difficulty in understanding and using verbal language or a profound nonverbal learning disabilityand significant problems during social interactions. Although hyperlexia may be the key symptom in describing the learning difference in a child, it is not a stand-alone diagnosis. Rather, it exists on a continuum with other disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, language disorders and nonverbal learning disabilities.
I've got to say, the concept of hyperlexia as you present it is of great interest to me: It sounds a lot like the way I functioned in my childhood, though perhaps slightly more extreme. I was intellectually several years ahead but socially definitely behind, and I still have trouble reading social signals. I think I'll have to read a bit more about this.
A year-old right-handed woman developed a transcortical motor aphasia with hyperlexia following resection of a glioma in the left medial frontal lobe. Neurological examination revealed grasp reflex in the right hand and underutilization of the right upper extremity. An MRI demonstrated lesions in the left medial frontal lobe including the supplementary motor area and the anterior part of the cingulate gyrus, which extended to the anterior part of the body of corpus callosum.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it affects people to varying degrees with a large array of symptoms and traits. Some people with Autism are non-verbal, and cannot communicate verbally; however, even verbal communication affects those with Autism Spectrum Disorders to varying degrees. Some autistic children experience delays in speech at a young age, but quickly catch up to their peers, while others appear to speak very early and do so intelligently. The hyperlexic child usually learns to speak through rote memory and heavy repetition.
The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Darold Treffert met his first savant in and has been intrigued with those spectacular "islands of genius" seen in these extraordinary people ever since. He also maintains an internationally respected website on savant syndrome, autism and related conditions at www.
Hyperlexia is precocious and unexpected reading skills and abilities in children way beyond their chronological age. It is a fairly recently named condition although earlier descriptions of precocious reading do exist. The early reading itself is often preceded by intense and obsessive interest in letters and numbers as an infant. While many books, articles or websites indicate that hyperlexia always is a sign or symptom of autism or some other developmental disorder, our studies, and studies of some others, find that not always the case.