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HYPERLEXIA The topic of hyperlexia intrigued me because I thought I knew what it was I did not Recently I read an article on dyslexia that mentioned hyperlexia as the opposite of dyslexia but with hyperlexia there was no comprehension I had already diagnosed in my own mind two or three students at my school as having this problem Although the information on hyperlexia is sketchy and at times contradictory I am no longer trying to put those particular students into the hyperlexia box My purpose with this paper is to interpret the knowledge that exists on hyperlexia and organize this knowledge into what hyperlexia is the connection to autism PDD and nonverbal learning disorders assessment and remediation and the brain connection The literature on the subject of hyperlexia indicates that it is far more likely to occur in boys so I will be using the pronoun he when referring to a hyperlexic child THE SYNDROME OF HYPERLEXIA The American Hyperlexia Association aha gives three guidelines to use when considering a hyperlexia diagnosis These guidelines are social interaction repetitive behavior and communication problems If a child exhibits these signs then he probably will meet the criteria for the autistic spectrum disorder called Pervasive Developmental Disorder PDD as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV DSM-IV Bligh 1995 Hyperlexia is not a medical diagnosis so PDD is used to classify children in order to provide services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA In addition to these three very important factors is the presence of a precocious ability to read far above what would be considered normal for the chronological age Social interaction is an important characteristic of hyperlexia These children do not interact well with their peers They have abnormal social skills and have difficulty in socializing This difficulty is caused by a childs inability to comprehend the intentions of others through their words and language emotions and expressions
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