Does your child have hyperlexia?
hyper is a prefix word that means above, excessive, or beyond;
lex means words
Hyperlexia is a developmental disability in which children show extraordinary ability in word recognition, but very poor comprehension both in listening and reading usually, but not always, this condition is associated with autism.
Children with hyperlexia usually have a strong photographic memory. They have an obsession with letters and they start learning to read without instruction typically before the age of 5, but they have difficulty answering the basic questions such as what when where, why, and how and cannot comprehend what they have read.
Because they can easily recollect what they have seen, most of them can remember the words instantly and can also spell them correctly even longer words such as organization and sustainable. In addition, some of them have a rare ability to decode printed materials even if they have not seen the words such as satpauder and esterpine. Individuals with hyperlexia syndrome exhibit compulsive and ritualistic behaviors such as endlessly arranging the letters and numbers in a very straight line formation. They have also abnormal and awkward social skills such as difficulty in interacting appropriately with people.
Can they learn to comprehend what they have read? Perhaps yes, maybe no, it depends on how severe their conditions are. Therefore they need to be assessed if they can learn to comprehend.