Hyperlexia orlexia is a learning disorder that affects the brains of people. It is also called as ‘fluent dyslexia’. Hyperlexia is not a separate disorder but a common part of a group of learning disabilities. As it is different from other learning disorders, hyperlexia can be detected easily in school age children. Hyperlexia can have a profound effect on the lives of the individuals affected with it and this is the reason for the prevalence of various organizations that are dedicated in finding a cure for this debilitating disorder.
Hyperlexia has been diagnosed in school-age children. The signs of hyperlexia are poor spelling, poor memory, poor writing skills, poor reading skills and poor attention span. There is no definite test that can identify hyperlexia in its early stages. The symptoms of hyperlexia may start at any stage of childhood. However, children suffering with hyperlexia tend to excel in one particular academic area and then become unable to retain these skills even after years of acquiring similar knowledge in a totally different field. This means that an individual suffering with hyperlexia will need constant guidance in order to excel in their chosen field of study.
In most cases, hyperlexia is inherited. However, it is also possible that an individual suffers from hyperlexia without having any genetic predisposition. Hyperlexia has also been found to be related to a person’s intellectual capacity. Individuals who suffer from hyperlexia have found to be highly intelligent compared to individuals who do not suffer from this disability. Learning difficulties are common among individuals who have this disability but they are not as severe as those experienced by individuals with learning disabilities associated with ADD or ADHD.
Hyperlexia can have several negative outcomes on an individual’s life. Some of these outcomes are higher educational achievement, better employment opportunities and better job performance. However, there are also positive outcomes associated with hyperlexia. Individuals with hyperlexia have demonstrated greater flexibility in learning compared to individuals without the condition. They have also demonstrated increased ability in developing written and verbal communications and in multi-tasking. When working with a business partner, an individual with hyperlexia can complete tasks faster and more efficiently than an individual without the condition.
Because hyperlexia affects a child’s ability to process information, he or she may have difficulties when confronted with new information. The child may become anxious when faced with a new learning situation. This anxiety can negatively affect learning outcomes. Individuals with hyperlexia may appear to have slower response times and be slower to pick up languages than other individuals.
Hyperlexia does not necessarily mean that an individual will have hyperlexia. Many individuals may actually have Asperger’s syndrome or some other form of mild autism but have not been diagnosed with hyperlexia. It is important for parents to be aware of the potential for a child to have this disorder. If you believe that your child may have it, you should talk to a child psychologist or other adults that can help determine the diagnosis. In many cases, the primary care physician will be able to make a referral to a specialist in diagnosing and treating hyperlexia.
Hyperlexia is not something that is common. In fact, approximately one in 50 school age children have been diagnosed with it. The risk for having hyperlexia increases with the age of the person, but it is not something that is exclusive to younger children. Individuals of all ages can be affected by this disorder.
Hyperlexia can present as a reading disability, a writing disability, a phonemic disorder, or a combination of any of these. The severity of hyperlexia may vary from mild to severe. Children with moderate to mild hyperlexia can often learn to read and write on their own. While children with severe hyperlexia may need the assistance of a parent or other adults to learn to read and write. Because hyperlexia can have such a wide range of outcomes, it is important to work with your child’s teacher or school counselor to identify specific goals for them to strive for throughout their academic career.