Let’s CHAT about Hyperlexia: Introduction

Oct 26, 2020 | Blog

Hello everyone! 

My name is Ciara Nally and I am the lead hyperlexia specialist at CHAT. I am so excited to introduce our very own blog series about all things hyperlexia! Some of CHAT’s goals in creating this blog series are to answer questions that frequently come up about hyperlexia, create a supportive and knowledgeable community, and increase our outreach so that other professionals are more familiar with hyperlexic learning! Installments of this blog will define hyperlexia related terms and concepts, provide therapy activities and suggestions, and share various other resources to help your hyperlexic learner progress with their skills. We hope that this blog will speak to hyperlexic learners of all ages and abilities and provide a safe and friendly resource to all who seek it.   

I have been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) for six years and truly believe it is my calling in life. I, like most people, had not heard of hyperlexia prior to joining CHAT (then known as the Center for Speech and Language Disorders – CSLD) and meeting Phyllis Kupperman, CHAT’s founder and the leading expert on hyperlexia who has made CHAT the go-to place for hyperlexia services. Throughout our 41-year history, CHAT SLPs have worked with countless hyperlexic learners. For the past several years, I have provided consultations across the world for 50+ families and regularly work with hyperlexic clients in both school and clinic settings. As Assistant Director of Twice Exceptional Services and our Teletherapy domain, I have been able to learn and share creative and accessible strategies via video-conferencing to help hyperlexic learners from toddler age well into adulthood. We’re looking forward to expanding CHAT’s hyperlexia resources and sharing them all with you!  

Throughout this blog, with the utmost respect for members of our community, you’ll notice we are not using person-first language, but rather refer to “hyperlexic learners” and may even use the acronym HxL. We feel an identifier such as “hyperlexic learner” is an appropriate term similar to “visual learner” or “kinesthetic learner.” At CHAT, we describe hyperlexia as a “unique learning style often characterized by various strengths including precocious abilities in reading decoding, pattern recognition, and increased memory capacity in the context of weaknesses in language and social processing.” While you may know other precocious or early readers, hyperlexic learners depend on the written word to support language growth, social communication and overall learning.    

As CHAT learns to better connect with all of you, we are very eager to receive feedback and questions. You can reach out to me directly at ciara@chatwithus.org and I will get back to you as soon as I am able! If you are interested in setting up a consultation or other services via Zoom, please fill out our CR Hyperlexia Intake Form and we will contact you as soon as possible! 

Welcome to our CHAT Family!