Signs of Hyperlexia That Shouldn’t be Overlooked

Most any parent would be delighted to see their child show abilities that well exceed those of the child’s peers. In this day and age, any advantage a child has can only benefit him or her in the future. In the case of hyperlexia, these abilities can be a mixed blessing.

Hyperlexia is a condition where children show advanced reading abilities, typically before the age of five. While hyperlexia symptoms may include a range of other advanced abilities, the overall effect of the condition can be detrimental to a child’s growth and development.

Being able to pick up on signs of hyperlexia that shouldn’t be overlooked can help you take steps towards getting your child the help he or she needs.

For information on hyperlexia treatment options, call our toll-free helpline at 800-598-5053 (Who Answers?) .

Features of Hyperlexia Disorder

Signs of Hyperlexia

Children with hyperlexia have advanced reading abilities.

First identified in 1967, hyperlexia disorder in children is actually a “superability” that enables a child to recognize words that far exceed his or her expected skill level. For example, a one year old affected by hyperlexia would be able to read at a sixth grade level. In effect, advanced word-decoding abilities make it possible for affected children to decipher what would otherwise be considered indecipherable for other children of the same age.

While phenomenal in scope, children able to read and pronounce difficult words and text aren’t able to comprehend what they’re reading, according to Wisconsin Medical Society. That being so, children with hyperlexia usually have above-average IQs for their age level.

Problem Signs of Hyperlexia

Language Learning Deficits

Children affected by hyperlexia may display language learning deficits that make it difficult for them to communicate with others. According to ERIC Institute of Education Services, problems in language development may take the form of:

  • Random repetitions or imitations of what another person says as opposed to engaging in a verbal exchange
  • Unable to comprehend or form sentences
  • Only able to learn language in chunks or phrases
  • Garbled speech content in terms of unusual word choices
  • Using peculiar or made-up wording
  • Inability to hold a conversation

Impairments in Social Interpersonal Development

Not surprisingly, marked deficits in language development can hamper a child’s ability to interact with his or her peers. If you’re child is showing language learning deficits, it’s likely he or she is also having difficulty socializing with other children.

Impairments in social interpersonal development can take any number of forms. More often than not, these types of problems tend to bleed into a child’s behavior to the point where acting out behaviors may start to develop.

Behavioral signs of hyperlexia that shouldn’t be overlooked include:

  • Temper tantrums
  • Problems making friends with other children
  • An extreme need for routines and daily activities to stay the same
  • Highly sensitive to loud noises
  • Non-compliant behavior
  • Ritual-like behavior
  • Unusual fears
  • Anxiousness

Many of the above behaviors fall within the autistic behavioral spectrum and it’s not uncommon for children struggling with hyperlexia to also have some form autism. For these reasons, it’s especially important to catch easy to miss symptoms early on.

If you need help finding a treatment program that meets your child’s needs, please feel free to call our helpline at 800-598-5053 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our placement specialists.


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