I meet parents of a wide spectrum of children in my business. They usually know “something is different” long before a Specialist becomes involved. Invariably they walk the path alone for a long time with partners, parents, doctors etc brushing it off and discounting their inner knowing. (Which is hugely unfortunate as I tend to subscribe to the theory that Mother Knows Best when it comes to your own child).
I was intrigued to learn that young children who are having problems with phonics, and particularly with blending sounds, may not necessarily be dyslexic but hyperlexic. These young children are able to read complete words at a very early age but struggle to communicate. Although they can read an ever-increasing number of words, their level of comprehension remains at their own age level.
It may be that the child is on the autisic spectrum or has suffered some sort of injury to the brain. This can obviously be very frustrating for the child and the parents.
At The Book Mums, we would suggest books that contain a lot of pictorial evidence to support the vocabulary being used. Picture books designed to be read to the young obviously help a hyperlexic child not only read themselves but, more importantly, understand the meaning of the text being used.
Non-fiction titles with graphics, flaps, photos, or diagrams will also help the child to better understand the concept behind the language and in turn aid their communication.
There are even Illustrated Dictionaries for English, Maths, Science ..
Here is a very interesting article from Speech and Language expert Sara Staunt on the Great Ormond Street website. There is also a great blog from a Hyperlexic parent sharing her own journey and knowledge.
If you would like some suggestions of appropriate titles from the Usborne Publishing list for your own child, please do get in touch. I hope this was useful and would love to hear your comments.