Topics: Educational psychology, Dyslexia, Education Pages: 5 (1436 words) Published: October 29, 2013

Language Development in Special Education

What is Hyperlexia? Hyperlexia is a rare disorder in which an individual can read above their grade level but have difficulties understanding as well as using both written and verbal language. They often have an intense fascination with letters and numbers. Some of these individuals have higher IQ’s than their peers. They have a hard time expressing themselves. Trying to carry on a conversation with another individual is very difficult, due to their lack in language development. This disorder can be diagnosed as early as twenty-four months old. (wisegeek.com) They often get diagnosed as having autism because the symptoms of Hyperlexia and autism spectrum disorders are very much alike. “Hyperlexia is not a stand-alone diagnosis, rather it is a continuum with other disorders, such as autism spectrum, language disorders, nonverbal learning disabilities, sensory integration dysfunction, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, motor dyspraxia, obsessive/compulsive disorder, and depression as well as seizure disorder.” (www.clsd.org)

The earlier a child is identified as having Hyperlexia the better, because intervention at a young age increases a child’s success in both written and verbal language. The level of development for everyone is different, no one is going to be on the same level as their peers. As a teacher, you can work with these students by teaching them different strategies in the way they will learn best with the material you are teaching them. One of the important things to keep in mind is knowing the students’ learning style. Knowing their learning style is very helpful if you are expecting them to grasp the material you are teaching these students. Children with Hyperlexia “learn written language simply by just being surrounded by printed words.” (ldail.com) “The more you read to children, the more words and language they will learn and will succeed in school.” (kidshealth.org) “These children may have difficulty with being able to decode words.” (ldail.com) However, some of them are able to spell really well, and for these children having that ability they will find it less difficult in being able to decode words. “When a child starts to understand the verbal language, then written language can be used less frequently, and used only in situations when something new or confusing is introduced.” (clsd.org) With a hyperlexic child, learning English is very hard for them. “It is the most difficult and confusing language to learn.” (clsd.org) Being taught at a young age is much better than learning it later, because they will be surrounded with it longer than if they were to learn it at a later time. “The important things that they need the most help with, are the questions of who, what, when, where, and why.” (clsd.org) “It is important that they are given written, verbal prompts, and scripts to ask the question and in turn be able to give the answer right back.” (clsd.org) Some other activities that would be helpful for them are short stories, poems, reading narratives, or acting out games, such as Charades. Children with Hyperlexia need to be given a variety of different learning approaches according to their language learning differences. “Giving these students a variety of activities, such as computers, videos, and books are great teaching tools.” (clsd.org)

“Another important symptom of this disability is the language learning disorder.” (ldail.com) “These children might have difficulty in learning language, but they do have some advantages such as good auditory memory, visual memory for the alphabet and numbers, and have good comprehension of single words.” (ldail.com) Some activities that you as a teacher can do with these students are having them practice their language by reading to them, and if they are able to read, have them read you the story so they can visually see the words that they are...

References: Autism Key. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.autismkey.com
C.H.I.L.D. Foundation (n.d.). C.H.I.L.D. - Home. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.childhealthlearn.org
KidsHealth - the Web 's most visited site about children 's health. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.kidshealth.org
Nation/University of York, K. (1999). Reading Skills in Hyperlexia: A Developmental Perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 125(3), 338-355.
Whaley/American Hyperlexia Association, J. (n.d.). Home - Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.ldail.com
wiseGEEK: clear answers for common questions. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.wisegeek.com
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