Medical Definition of Hyperlexia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hyperlexia: The presence of advanced ability to read compared to the ability to understand spoken language.

Children with hyperlexia have a precocious ability to read words, far above what would be expected at their chronological age or an intense fascination with letters or numbers; significant difficulty in understanding verbal language; and abnormal social skills, difficulty in socializing and interacting appropriately with people.

Hyperlexia, according to some experts, may belong in the autistic spectrum along with autism and Asperger syndrome.

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018

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