What is Hyperlexia?

Jul 24, 2019 | Hyperlexia

Most people have heard of Dyslexia, but not many of Hyperlexia. I had the pleasure of working with a few of these geniuses and want to quickly explain it here.

If you’d prefer to read what I say in the video:

I want to talk about hyperlexia. I work with dyslexia but I have worked with hyperlexia and I get asked quite a lot of times, why and how and what can I do because there is very little out there. There are explanations out there, there are categorizations out there is not much out there in the form of a solution.

What is Hyperlexia and what are the Different Types of Hyperlexia?

So what you would probably find if you Google hyperlexia is there is more than one type. It could be the type 1 hyperlexia where children just read early and really well. It’s rare and there is nothing wrong. They are neurotypical children.

The second category hyperlexia 2 is connected with the autistic spectrum. So children may be reading really well but there is poor comprehension of the reading. They may also have many of the other symptoms of autism. So they also have poor social connections. They are overwhelmed by noise. They are sensitive to different sensory overloads and hyperlexia can be a part of it. They become quite obsessed with letters and sometimes numbers and they read really early.  They read everything they see but do not necessarily understand it.

There is also hyperlexia 3 type, which shows symptoms of autism but they disappear. There are some symptoms there but these children grow out of it. As well as Type 1 hyperlexia, they comprehend.

Learning Sight or Non-Picture Words Helps Hyperlexia

So, I worked with a 13-year-old hyperlexia boy who came from Western Australia.  He came with his family who were from the Sikh religion. It was an amazing experience for me to see this beautiful boy, and through his mothers efforts was well-adjusted. He could talk. He could interact. He could read everything you gave him without a single mistake. You could give him the most complex article or the easiest child’s book. He could read it and not make a single mistake. But if you asked him afterwards who was there and what was the relationship between the woman and this little girl, he would guess or say “I don’t know.”

So, that’s where we worked. I think for about four or five days. And it was amazing because he had done a program, already beforehand where he made sense of words that come with pictures but he had never looked at these little words which we call the sight words. The abstract words that do not make a picture. People always ignore them but they were instrumental for this young man.

We were looking at a small children’s book we just read. It was a level one or two chapter book. He read it and I had to stop him. Every full stop that already helped. But it wasn’t until we made sense of the little words, what “he” or “she”, or “they” meant, and then went onto more complex ones like “on” or “by”. He created the image and created the meaning that he can see that these words aren’t just fillers. He completely changed.

That comprehension would have been translated into his verbal communication with his family, and his mother said he went back to his family in India and they could not believe there was a different child there. He was actually awake and aware and could communicate and understand.

Sight words are difficult

The Dyslexia Tutor App

That is done probably the best with the Dyslexia Tutor App because it is like having a tutor that is coming into your house and it covers word for word. How to create these non-picture words because it’s instrumental that they understand. So if you want to follow me on Facebook, I will keep you informed about the Dyslexia Tutor App.

1 Comment

  1. Helen Bothma

    Great explanation Barbara, love the work you’re doing, making a difference in such a big way in people’s lives.

    Reply

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