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Hyperlexia and Comprehension

Posted Sep 11 2008 8:39pm
It has been stated that hyperlexic kids often have tremendous difficulty with reading comprehension once their peers catch up to their reading level and academic expectations tighten up. An SLT who worked very well with Jason and really helped him a lot 'warned' us of this. I recently recall Ms. Clark alluding to this with one of her kids as well commenting on another blog.
This is not always, however, the case.

My son's school began a new program yesterday called Book-It. It works like this:
A child has one month to complete ten books.
Completing a book means reading it themselves or having an adult read to them.
If they successfully complete 10 books in the month's time, they receive a coupon for a free Personal Pan Pizza at Pizza Hut.

Keep in mind that my son started Kindergarten just a few weeks ago. Keep also in mind that they happened to pick a powerful motivator - Pizza. Jason loves Pizza the way Pandas love bamboo, the way Spongebob loves Crabby Patties, the way ... you get the picture.

It is now approximately 30 hours ( hours, not days) since the program was announced. Jason has read 8 books. All by himself. We can't keep him away from books right now. He finds one in one of our household's kids' book stacks (they're everywhere) and races off to a quiet spot to read. A short time later he will reappear and request that this book be added to the Book-It list.

Last night he brought me an old Disney publication of "Peter Pan and Mary". This book was 24 pages long, maybe 40-50 words per page. I was skeptical that he had done more than look at the pictures, so I quizzed him.
"Jason, what is the dog's name?"
"How does Peter Pan help them fly?"
(Excited, flapping hands ) "Dust!"
"What are the boys in Neverland called?"
"The Lost Boys."
"Who is Hook's enemy?"
"No, Smee is Hook's mate. Who is Hook's enemy?"
"Hungry Crocodile!"

I can't wait to take Jason for his victory Pizza at Pizza Hut. Thing is, we'll have to wait a month for his peers to finish their books first.
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