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Codas. 2013;25(4):391-5.

Reading skills in children diagnosed with hyperlexia: case reports.

[Article in English, Portuguese]


Hyperlexia is characterized by spontaneous and early acquisition of reading skills, manifested before the age of five, without any formal education. Expressive and receptive language deficit, excellent memory, delayed language skills, echolalia, perseverations, and difficulty to understand verbal contexts, are common symptoms in individuals with hyperlexia and global developmental disorders, including Asperger's syndrome. The aim of this study was to describe the reading skills of individuals with hyperlexia. The participants were six boys with a history of hyperlexia, perceived by relatives before 36 months of life, chronologically aged between four years and four months to five years and two months. The following evaluation procedures were applied: interview with the parents or responsible guardians, communicative behavior observation, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), recognition of alphabet letters and numbers, School Performance Test, text reading, and reading comprehension. The participants showed different performances in the PPVT, and recognized letters, numbers and isolated words. There was difficulty in answering the writing subtest; the majority did not understand the text that they read and all of them demonstrated recognition of letters and numbers. Some participants were able to read words and texts. However, all participants presented alterations in other areas of language development, such as receptive vocabulary, communicative behavior and understanding of the material read, in addition to altered behaviors of social adaptation, both interactive and restrictive.

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