How Many People have Hyperlexia?

PDF Pyramid of 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%.

Hyperlexia in numbers

We do not know the prevalence of hyperlexia in the population yet, however there is some research planned in Canada which should shed some light on this.

From what we know so far, 6 to 20% of individuals with autism have hyperlexia. Autism is the most associated neurodevelopmental condition (NDC) with hyperlexia.

Hyperlexia is associated with autism. 84% of hyperlexic individuals with an NDC were autistic. (From 96 studies) (Ostrolenk et al 2017)

We do not know the percentage of hyperlexia in individuals without a neurodevelopmental condition.

Hyperlexia in it’s most widely used definition consists of strong decoding skills accompanied with difficulties in comprehension. 

Autistic people have a superior ability to process large arrays of visual information and larger receptive fields (Remington et al 2012). This may be one reason why autism is associated with hyperlexia.

Up to 20.7% of autistic individuals are thought to also have hyperlexia (Grigorenko et al 2002). However a much stricter definition found that 6% of those with autism had hyperlexia (Burd et al 1985).

See references here.  Date created: 1/4/2021     Date reviewed: 1/5/2022

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