, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 760-774
Date: 19 Sep 2006

Hyperlexia in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Abstract

We compared the reading-related skills of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders who have hyperlexia (ASD + HPL) with age-matched children with ASD without HPL (ASD − HPL) and with single-word reading-matched typically developing children (TYP). Children with ASD + HPL performed (1) better than did children with ASD − HPL on tasks of single-word reading and pseudoword decoding and (2) equivalently well compared to word-reading-matched TYP children on all reading-related tasks except reading comprehension. It appears that the general underlying model of single-word reading is the same in principle for “typical” and hyperlexic reading. Yet, the study revealed some dissimilarities between these two types of reading when more fine-grained cognitive and linguistic abilities were considered; these dissimilarities warrant further investigations.

Preparation of this report was supported by a grant from the Cure Autism Now Foundation (PI Grigorenko), a grant under the Javits Act Program (Grant No. R206R00001, PI Grigorenko) as administered by the Institute for Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, and grants NICHD–HD03008 and NICHD–HP35482 from the National Institutes of Health (PI Volkmar). Grantees undertaking such projects are encouraged to express freely their professional judgment. This article, therefore, does not necessarily represent the position or policies of the Institute for Educational Sciences, the U.S. Department of Education, or the National Institutes of Health and no official endorsement should be inferred. We express our gratitude to Ms. Robyn Rissman for her editorial assistance. We are also indebted to the participants and their families.