Children reading

What is Hyperlexia?

This is the term used for children who read letters and words before 5 years old, but typically as young as 2. The child will not always understand the meaning of the words. They learn to read naturally without being taught. This site was developed by Neurotastic, a charity supporting and researching neurodevelopmental conditions. Hyperlexia was identified as a gap in information. The pages here are intended to be used by parents of hyperlexic children, teachers and professionals.

Support for Parents

Child magnetic letters

Is my child hyperlexic?

If your child shows an early interest in reading letters or words, age 2 or 3 years, without being taught, then this may be hyperlexia.

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Can hyperlexia be diagnosed?

What actually is hyperlexia? There is no one official definition.

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What can I do if my child shows signs of hyperlexia?

There is a lot you can do to support a child with hyperlexia.

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Support for Teachers

Alphabet on paper

Will I know if a child in my class is hyperlexic?

An early interest in reading can sometimes be accompanied by comprehension difficulties

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How can I support a child with hyperlexia as a teacher?

Children learn to speak at different rates, so it is difficult to know when to get help for your child. Talk to your health visitor, nurse or GP if you have any concerns.

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Do I need to re-teach phonics and reading?

Hyperlexia can support other developmental skills such as social skills, speech, motor development and emotional regulation.

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Support for Professionals

Typewriter keys old style

How many children are hyperlexic in the UK?

What actually is hyperlexia? There is no one official definition.

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Are there books or articles on hyperlexia?

There is a lot that we don’t know about hyperlexia, however some recent studies shine more light

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What research is there on hyperlexia?

There is little information about how many children are hyperlexic, however some have estimated that for autistic children this may be up to 20%.

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Joy of the alphabet - personal stories

Illustration of Child reading

I am good at reading and spelling, but now I really like Minecraft!

Child age 8 with hyperlexia

Family illustration 19th century

My son could say the alphabet backwards at age 2 and read all his story books. He learnt to do it completely by himself.

Parent of child with hyperlexia

Letter a vintage

reading

Natural ability to read letters, words or numbers

Letter b vintage

comprehension

Without understanding the meaning of what they read

Letter c vintage

development

May sometimes be part of another neurodevelopmental condition

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