Annotation: Hyperlexia: disability or superability?

J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2003 Nov;44(8):1079-91

Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.

Background: Hyperlexia is the phenomenon of spontaneous and precocious mastery of single-word reading that has been of interest to clinicians and researchers since the beginning of the last century.

Methods: An extensive search of publications on the subject of hyperlexia was undertaken and all available publications were reviewed.

Results: The literature can be subdivided into discussions of the following issues: (1) whether hyperlexia is a phenomenon that is characteristic only of specific clinical populations (e.g., children with developmental delays) or whether it can also be observed in the general population; (2) whether hyperlexia is a distinct syndrome comorbid with a number of different disorders or whether it is a part of the spectrum of some other clinical condition(s); (3) whether hyperlexia should be defined through single-word reading superiority with regard to reading comprehension, vocabulary, general intelligence, any combination of the three, or all three characteristics; (4) whether there is a specific neuropsychological profile associated with hyperlexia; (5) whether hyperlexia is characterized by a particular developmental profile; and (6) whether hyperlexia should be viewed as a disability (deficit) or superability (talent).

Conclusions: We interpret the literature as supporting the view that hyperlexia is a superability demonstrated by a very specific group of individuals with developmental disorders (defined through unexpected single-word reading in the context of otherwise suppressed intellectual functioning) rather than as a disability exhibited by a portion of the general population (defined through a discrepancy between levels of single-word reading and comprehension). We simultaneously argue, however, that multifaceted and multi-methodological approaches to studying the phenomenon of hyperlexia, defined within the research framework of understanding single-word reading, are warranted and encouraged.

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://s3.spanglefish.com/s/33937/documents/hyperlexia_disab
Web Search
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.00193DOI Listing
November 2003
21 Reads

Publication Analysis

Top Keywords

single-word reading
20
hyperlexia
10
hyperlexia phenomenon
8
general population
8
hyperlexia defined
8
reading comprehension
8
reading
6
single-word
5
characterized developmental
4
hyperlexia characterized
4
hyperlexia hyperlexia
4
associated hyperlexia
4
specific neuropsychological
4
neuropsychological profile
4
profile associated
4
developmental profile
4
profile hyperlexia
4
talentconclusions interpret
4
interpret literature
4
literature supporting
4

References

(Supplied by CrossRef)

Aaron et al.
1989
Hyperlexia: Reading without meaning in young children
Aram et al.
Topics in Language Disorders 1997

Aram et al.
1984

Aram et al.
1988

Aram et al.
1984

Bender et al.
1955

Benton et al.
1978
Usual sensitivities in very young children
Bergman et al.
Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 1948
Hyperlexia: A marker for improvement in children with pervasive developmental disorder?
Burd et al.
Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1987

Similar Publications