iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 6:49pm
Can a child still have this without really "reading" at a young age? I found a website that described my son perfectly in the behavior and social part. But he doesn't "read" words or recognize letters---that I'm aware of. But then I wonder if he could--if he would sit long enough to try.

The reason why I even thought about this was he's been surprising us by recognizing letters/words on TV that have no special print or backgrounds---"NEMO", Spongebob. He will read these in a split second while flipping channels. Or when the TV(tivo) is "paused" and a blurry background word is shown--"nemo". He's memorized all the videos--I assume by the fancy lettering and the video covers by the pictured. All my kids did this. Another thing when he was about 2y--he said--"T is for train." It was a alphebet book---but T wasn't for train on that page. He really hasn't done this since with single letters. But I wonder if the ability is there and he just doesn't verbalize it or can sit long enough to actually try it.

I thought the whole hyperlexia thing is the ability to read young and recognize numbers/letters. So maybe my son doesn't have it.

Does anyone have kids with this?? And what did they do at 3yo?


Avatar for rwortiz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
In reply to: hollym4k
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 11:04pm
hyperlexia is a fascination with numbers or letters or reading at an early age. Some children are reading even before they are verbal. What is a good way to tell is flashcards or writing words out on paper and having your child point to them. Logos are usually first thing children notice like Disney or food stores. my son said his first word at 2 by 2 1/2 he knew all his letters, colors and shapes by three he was reading. He is six now and his decoding skills are high school level. Site words are at 4-5th grade level his comprehention is at second grade level. My son cry if you turn off the credits of movies. I asked him why he is cring and he will say I like to see the letters. He also loves the movie logos. He memorizes who makes the movies. Like now he wants to see the new rugrats movie and he said paramount pictures made it. I dont know I havent check but I bet he is right ..

Renee mom to Eric 6 pdd-nos and hyperlexic
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: hollym4k
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:58pm
Cait is hyperlexic, but borderline (learned to read at just before 5 years old). another thing besides the intense facination with letters and such that makes hyperlexia different is they learn the letters and reading without being taught. Plus they don't have the comprehension, or at least their comprehension is below their decoding ability. Typically they learn letters by 2 and read before 5.

I remember when Cait was just 2 we could barely communicate with her. She seemed to never understand us, but one day she picked up these blocks and started labeling the numbers on them correctly. Soon after we found she knew her letters as well. She would look at an alphabet book forever. She used to make me label colors, letters, and numbers all the time when she was about 1 1/2. She would bring this liitle magnets to me, or point in a book over and over. Used to make me nuts. At 2 1/2 to 3 she would go up to appliances, anything and point out all the letters on them and lable them.

About 4 1/2 or 5 years I was reading her a book. She started pointing out words in the book and labeling them. I had no idea she could read them. She didn't read the sentences and I am not sure the words meant much to her at the time other than she could read them.

Her reading and visual abilties have been a great strength for Cait in helping her in other areas. Her reading and spelling are consistently her highest grade in school. If you write something down she will never forget it. Now I don't know what level she is decoding at. It is obvious by her spelling ability and the words she is able to read that it is much higher than grade level. She has read way past the ending level books for 3rd grade by mid year. Her teacher doesn't believe in testing for decoding. She says a kids reading level is determined by comprehension. Her comprehension is about grade level in testing (3rd), although I know she can pull out details and the like I am not sure she is getting the big picture of what she is reading.

My ds on the other hand also learned to read early, but he was not facinated with letters like cait was. HE also didn't have the comprehension problems to cait's level. He does decode higher than comprehension but not significantly so. He did learn environment logos and such very young. I don't believe he is hyperlexic but he is very gifted.


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Registered: 06-27-2003
In reply to: hollym4k
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 2:37pm
Jacob is 5 and hyperlexia (and Asperger's) was first mentioned to us about 6 months ago. He has learned to read on his own and does understand what he's reading. If it's a name or some other new word he's not familiar with, he's not afraid to attempt to say it anyway and if DH or I correct him, he'll get it right from then on!

At 3 years old, he did like toys and videos related to the alphabet, and credits after TV programs, but wasn't very interested at all in books. He was also just starting to speak single words after having started sign language in speech therapy at age 2.5, so we had no idea how much he really understood. In his ABA program, they were using PECS and a visual schedule and he astonished us one day (3 years old) by out of nowhere spelling W-a-i-t-a-M-i-n-u-t-e without hesitating - this was on one of the PECS cards the therapists had been teaching him earlier that day. He was very much into flash cards and spelling starting between ages 3 and 4. Then when he speech started taking off, we discovered that he was able to read.

I remember about a year ago, I took him to a place we hadn't been before and in the parking garage he didn't want to go the way I was taking him and he was saying "Elevator!" which was on a sign about 50 yards in the other direction. We parents can't spell things out to keep him from understanding now either LOL