Word recognition and comprehension skills in hyperlexic children

Marilyn C. Welsh, Bruce F. Pennington, Sally J Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Five hyperlexic boys (4-5 to 10-1 years), who had been diagnosed with infantile autism or pervasive developmental delay in early childhood, were evaluated. Measures of intelligence, single-word recognition and comprehension, and picture naming were administered to determine the precocity or deficiency of reading recognition and comprehension, the underlying mechanisms of oral reading, and possible parallels with the acquired dyslexia subtypes. The results indicated that hyperlexia may be operationalized as unexpected reading precocity as compared to IQ; however, reading comprehension was not unexpectedly deficient. The phonological route to reading appeared to be preferred to the lexical route, and the overall pattern of performance most closely paralleled that of the surface dyslexic subtype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-96
Number of pages21
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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