Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Hyperlexia & Auditory Processing: 5 Strategies that Will Dramatically Help Your Child

A closer look at hyperlexia and auditory processing and why hyperlexic kids say "I don't know" so much.

Does your hyperlexic child ever respond to questions with a quick "I don't know" and then a few seconds later gives you the correct response?

Well, it's pretty common for hyperlexic kids to have a case of the I don't knows, even if it's in response to a question that they definitely know the answer to. 

But why is that? 

And, more importantly, how can you help?

The answers to these questions have to do with auditory processing and comprehension. So let's take a closer look at hyperlexia and auditory processing and some strategies that will make a big difference.

Hyperlexia & auditory processing: why the hyperlexic child says "I don't know" a lot

Understanding Hyperlexia & the Case of the I Don't Knows

Given the comprehension difficulties that are common in hyperlexia, it's unsurprising that many hyperlexic kids have auditory processing delays as well. Yet it's one of those lesser known characteristics of hyperlexia

However, you probably already know that hyperlexic kids "find it easier to attend to, and grasp language information that they see, better than that which they listen to." (source

There's a reason why it's so important to keep the saying of "when in doubt, write it out" in mind with these kids...

Anyway, since hyperlexic kids have trouble processing and understanding spoken language, they will often respond to verbal requests and questions with "I don't know" or "huh?" as a way to buy themselves time. Time they need to process what was said.

In the book "Drawing a Blank," Emily Iland writes that autistic and hyperlexic children "had a response delay of 11 milliseconds in processing sounds heard in words. While the lag is brief, it means that the [autistic child] may still be processing the first syllable of a word when other students in class have already processed the entire word. Importantly, the delays may cascade, and the [autistic child] may lag further and further behind when trying to capture the message during a longer conversation or lesson."

As Iland points out, they need a bit more time to process what's been said, especially if the verbal request is lengthy or complex.

In this case, your child's quick response of "I don't know" tends to mean "I don't know what you're saying quite yet so let me at least acknowledge that I heard you while I finish processing what you said." So keep that in mind.

Hyperlexia & Auditory Processing: 5 Strategies that Will Dramatically Help Your Child

Now that you understand why your hyperlexic child defaults to using the phrase "I don't know" whenever you make a verbal request, let's talk about what you can do to support them with their auditory processing delays. 

These tips are simple switches that you can make that will dramatically help your hyperlexic child.

1. Make it visual by pairing spoken language with written language

Remember above where I reminded you yet again to write things out? Well, then you probably knew this tip was coming...

Take a minute to write down your request, instructions, or question and point to it while you speak to your child. 

If appropriate, you could even write down some possible answers for them. For instance, if you are asking them what they would like for a snack, then write down a couple of options for them to choose from.

2. Give them time to respond

You now know that hyperlexic kids need more time to process what was said to them, especially if the sentence or request is lengthy. It's best to speak and then pause for a bit. You're going to have to wait patiently and give them time to formulate a response.

3. Teach them a script to say instead of "I don't know"

To others who encounter your child, they might take your hyperlexic child's default response of "I don't know" to literally mean that they don't know the answer, which isn't always the case. 

So it's important to teach your hyperlexic child some scripts that they could say in place of "I don't know" to show that they need extra time to think about their answer. 

Examples include:

  • Let me think
  • I need a few seconds to answer
  • I'm just processing your question
  • I'm just thinking about what I want to say

4. Shorten and simplify your sentences, requests, and questions when speaking

Earlier I shared of quote that talked about how the auditory processing delays of individual sounds and words can stack on top of each other, making lengthy requests or conversations even harder to comprehend for hyperlexic kids. So a quick and easy fix is to shorten and simplify your sentences, remembering to pause in between each.

For instance, "We're going to the library this afternoon to return the overdue library books and pick up some new ones." can become "We're going to the library today. (pause) We'll return the old books. (pause). Then we'll pick some new books."

5. Speak slower

Given that they need more time to process individual sounds and words, it makes sense just to slow down when you are speaking. 

A list of strategies to use to help hyperlexic kids with their auditory processing delays

Other Hyperlexia Resources You'll Love

5 Lesser Known Characteristics of Hyperlexia

5 Free Hyperlexia PDF Resources That You Should Always Keep Handy

Important Hyperlexia Milestones

Hyperlexia & auditory processing: why the hyperlexic child says "I don't know" a lot and what you can do to help

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Friday, January 22, 2021

10+ Diagnoses a Hyperlexic Child Might Have (Besides Autism)

Here are 10+ common diagnoses a hyperlexic child might have (besides autism). They might even receive these diagnoses instead of the label of hyperlexia itself.

Some of the most common questions that I get about the hyperlexia "diagnosis" are regarding it's relationship with autism. Questions such as:

  • Is hyperlexia always diagnosed with autism?
  • Can you have hyperlexia and not be autistic?
  • How is hyperlexia different than autism?

While they're fair questions to ask, I'll be honest, I do question the intentions behind some of these questions as it often seems parents are reluctant or even in denial that their child might indeed be autistic. But that's a whole other beast to tackle for another post on another day.

Instead, let's focus on the question of whether or not hyperlexia is always identified or diagnosed with autism and take a look at some other diagnoses a hyperlexic child might have. 


10+ diagnoses a hyperlexic child might have besides autism

10+ Other Diagnoses A Hyperlexic Child Might Have

Since hyperlexia isn't a standalone diagnosis, you can't receive it as an official "diagnosis" on its own. Instead, it will often be diagnosed (or some might argue misdiagnosed), identified alongside, or lumped in with another diagnosis. In some cases, a hyperlexic child might receive one of these diagnoses in place of the label of hyperlexia. Here are some of the possible diagnoses they might receive:

  • Autism (including Asperger's which is now just diagnosed as autism)
  • Specific language impairment or a language disorder such as mixed receptive-expressive language disorder or expressive language disorder
  • Nonverbal learning disability
  • Pervasive developmental disorder
  • Social communication disorder, such as semantic/pragmatic disorder
For most hyperlexic kids, their hyperlexia will be identified alongside an autism diagnosis. It's not surprising that this is the case as there's a strong link between the two. In fact, 84% of hyperlexics are either autistic or have several autistic features (source). 

In addition to some of the diagnoses above, a hyperlexic child might have other co-occurring conditions such as:

  • ADHD
  • Sensory processing disorder or sensory integration dysfunction
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Seizure disorder
  • Tourette's Syndrome
  • Dyspraxia
  • Anxiety
Now obviously this list isn't exhaustive. There are a lot of other possible diagnoses and conditions that a hyperlexic child might have. These are just some of the more common possibilities.

Regardless of what other conditions or diagnoses a hyperlexic individual has, it's still important to identify the hyperlexia piece. 

Adkins et al. write that we need to still "identify children with hyperlexia if they have other diagnoses or conditions" because "these children learn primarily through reading, so the therapeutic and educational programs that we devise for them must take their reading skills into account." (source: Hyperlexia: Therapy that Works manual).

Let me stress that again. 

Identifying their hyperlexia is just as important as identifying their autism or their OCD because it tells you so much about how they learn and how their brain works. 

That means you might have to keep pushing until their hyperlexic learning style is recognized, especially when so many professionals or specialists are quick to disregard or dismiss your very valid concerns about the possibility of hyperlexia. And yes, this does happen.

So to answer the question "is hyperlexia always diagnosed with autism?", the answer is no.

A list of diagnoses or conditions that hyperlexic kids can also be identified with

Other Hyperlexia Resources You'll Love

Understanding the "Diagnosis" of Hyperlexia

Important Hyperlexia Milestones

5 Surprising &Lesser Known Hyperlexia "Symptoms"

Is hyperlexia always diagnosed with autism? Here are 10+ diagnoses a hyperlexic child might have (besides autism)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

5 Surprising & Lesser Known Characteristics of Hyperlexia

A closer look at some of the lesser known hyperlexia "symptoms" and traits.

People familiar with hyperlexia are usually familiar with the more common hyperlexia "symptoms" of early precocious reading, comprehension difficulties, intense letter fascinations, and whatnot. FYI, I prefer to use the terms traits or characteristics, which is why I put symptoms in quotations in the previous sentence. Anyway...

There are certainly a lot of other traits that differentiate a hyperlexic learner from a non-hyperlexic one, many of which you can see here

However, there are a few other traits that don't get discussed as much, even though they're important for understanding the unique hyperlexic learning style. So here are 5 surprising (and lesser known!) characteristics of hyperlexia.

Other signs of hyperlexia to be aware of

5 Lesser Known Characteristics of Hyperlexia

1. Air writing is common among hyperlexic children

Maybe you've seen your hyperlexic child "write" words or "draw" letters in the air before. This air writing is so common that I've officially declared it a missing trait from the list of hyperlexia signs. I can just do that, right? 

There are lots of reasons why hyperlexic kids do air writing, which I've discussed in depth here and on Instagram.

2. Hyperlexics learn language via gestalt processing

Gestalt processing is a just a fancy way of saying someone learns language in chunks, which explains why many hyperlexic children have echolalic speech. 

Now, I'm not an expert on gestalt processing so here are a few resources to help you learn more about this topic:

3. Auditory processing delays are common

Once you have a better understanding of their gestalt processing of language (did you check out those resources yet??), you can see why hyperlexic kids might also struggle with auditory processing. Especially when you factor in the issues that many of them have with comprehension and WH questions as well. No wonder it's so tricky to process spoken language for them!

You've probably noticed these auditory processing issues in your child before. You ask them a question and they either don't respond or they give an automatic response of "Huh?" or "I don't know." They might give this response even when it is a question they clearly know the answer to.

As Adkins et al. mention in Hyperlexia: Therapy that Works Manual, "Many children with hyperlexia have difficulty processing what people say to them."

This automatic response of "I don't know" is usually a coping mechanism hyperlexic kids use to buy themselves time to process and make sense of what was being said to them. 

I know my son did this all the time and people mistakenly assumed he didn't know the answer because he would say "I don't know." What you can do is work on teaching your child a script along the lines of "Let me think..." or "Give me a second" to replace the default "I don't know."

Another way to help with this is to pair the auditory with the visual, by writing things down.

4. Learning pronouns is difficult for hyperlexic kids

Pronouns are confusing for hyperlexic kids. They get them mixed up all the time during the preschool and early elementary years. 

Just think about how complex pronouns are. They're vague and require inferencing skills (something else hyperlexic kids aren't particularly good at naturally). I mean sometimes "you" can refer to you (pointing aggressively at the screen right at you) and other times it can refer to "me." But others will use "she" and "her" to refer to me. Ugh, English is so hard!

But yes, learning pronouns is difficult for hyperlexic kids. They do get the hang of it as they get older and with some extra practice (try these pronoun cards for instance).

5. Many hyperlexic children have unusual fears

We're talking fears of door knobs, anything that crawls, animated characters, the Happy Birthday song...a lot of these things can cause major anxiety for hyperlexic kids. So if your child has a somewhat unusual fear, then you might be a bit reassured knowing that your child isn't alone. There's a reason why I have lots of anxiety resources here on the blog after all.

5 lesser known characteristics of hyperlexia

Other Hyperlexia Resources You'll Love

Understanding the Hyperlexia "Diagnosis"

I Think My Child is Hyperlexic...Now What?

How to Teach WH Questions to Hyperlexic Kids

5 lesser known traits of hyperlexia

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Monday, January 18, 2021

5 Free Hyperlexia PDF Resources that You Should Always Keep Handy

Free must-have hyperlexia PDF resources for parents and teachers.

Regardless of how you learn of hyperlexia, I think you and I can both agree that there is a substantial lack of hyperlexia resources and information out there. There are definitely some incredible resources available these days, if you can find them. 

Don't worry, I've already done the legwork here for you and handpicked what I think are the must-have free hyperlexia PDF resources. Phew, I know...

The PDFs listed below are the ones that I reference frequently and have personally found helpful over the years. After all, I was once in your shoes typing "what is hyperlexia?" into Google.

But, I'll be honest, besides the lack of resources on hyperlexia, another thing you'll have to encounter for many years down the road is the lack of understanding of hyperlexia. People just don't know what it is. And it will be on you to have to educate others and explain this "diagnosis" to other people. These PDFS will be incredibly helpful to you when educating others.

So, in other words, these hyperlexia resources, aren't just helpful for the hyperlexia newbies. They're indispensable tools for explaining hyperlexia to others. And that's why you'll want to keep a copy of these handy at all times.

Free hyperlexia PDF resources for parents and teachers

5 Must Have Hyperlexia PDF Resources for any Parent & Teacher

Here are the must-have hyperlexia PDFs that you should have on hand at all times:

1. The Hyperlexia Handbook - My free handbook is the perfect introduction to any parent or teacher who is new to hyperlexia. It is also the only resource on this list that talks specifically about hypernumeracy, which is basically hyperlexia, but for numbers.

2. Hyperlexia: Therapy that Works Manual: A Guide for Parents & Teachers from CHAT (formerly The Center for Speech and Language Disorders) - You'll have to scroll down to the resources section to grab this publication. But, with 60+ pages of practical strategies and tips, this manual is incredibly helpful. 

So if you're looking for strategies and ideas to implement today, then you definitely want to have a copy of this. It covers a wide range of topics and outlines strategies that will make a huge difference for your hyperlexic child.

It's also a great resource to share with your child's teachers, support staff, and therapists too, but maybe not right away given its length...It might be a bit overwhelming for some to read through.

3. What is Hyperlexia? PDF from the Canadian Hyperlexia Association (now defunct) - Don't want to overwhelm your child's teacher with the 60+ page manual from above? Then this one is the perfect alternative.

This PDF is perfect for sharing with people who are brand new to hyperlexia and want a quick crash course on what hyperlexia is. The section on identifying hyperlexia is one of the best I've seen and is one I frequently screenshot and share with parents new to this journey.

4. Strategies for Working with Hyperlexia PDF from the Canadian Hyperlexia Association (now defunct) - Need practical strategies? Then this is the PDF for you. 

Jam packed with awesome ideas that you can start implementing today, this PDF covers a wide variety of topics from personal safety and social skills to classroom strategies and ideas for playing with your hyperlexic child.

5. Hyperlexia Handout for Parents - This printable is meant for you to fill out and give to your child's teacher, daycare provider, new therapist, or any other support staff, especially at the start of each school year. You can use it to outline your hyperlexic child's strengths, weaknesses, and interests while also introducing hyperlexia in a quick, easy to read one page document.

5 free must-have hyperlexia PDF resources for parents and teachers

Other Hyperlexia Resources You'll Love

Understanding the Hyperlexia "Diagnosis"

Important Hyperlexia Milestones

Frequently Asked Questions About Hyperlexia

5 free must-have hyperlexia PDF resources for parents and teachers

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Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Understanding the Hyperlexia "Diagnosis"

What you need to know about the hyperlexia diagnosis, as well as information on how to get your child identified as hyperlexic.

One of the most frequent questions that I get asked about hyperlexia is regarding the diagnostic process. Who can diagnosis hyperlexia? How can you get the hyperlexia diagnosis? And so on. Important questions, yes, but it isn't that simple.

Because hyperlexia is currently not a standalone diagnosis.

That makes things tricky for parents like myself trying to get help for their child.

So I thought I would cover as much as I can about the "diagnostic" process regarding hyperlexia so you can better understand how to go about getting your child identified as hyperlexic.

What you need to know about the hyperlexia "diagnosis" and getting your child identified as hyperlexic

Important Points About Identifying the Hyperlexic Child

Hyperlexia is not a diagnosis by itself and, as such, does not appear as an official diagnosis in psychiatric and psychological diagnostic manuals. 

Instead, hyperlexia is a practical label

That means, the label of hyperlexia gives parents, professionals, and educators a better understanding of how the child thinks and learns. Having a label of hyperlexia also makes it easier to find, develop, and use strategies that will actually help your child.

Since it isn't a standalone diagnosis, the label of hyperlexia is often given alongside another diagnosis. Hyperlexia is often identified alongside an autism diagnosis, in particular. However, it can also be identified alongside other diagnoses such as pervasive development disorder or expressive language disorders (see more on page 3 here). 

It's important to note that not every hyperlexic child will be autistic, just like not every autistic child will be hyperlexic. However, it has been found that 84% of hyperlexic individuals are either autistic or have several autistic features (source). So there's a good chance that your child will be both hyperlexic and autistic.

What About the 3 Types of Hyperlexia?

Many parents ask how they can get a hyperlexia 3 diagnosis.

Although there have been three types of hyperlexia proposed, most hyperlexic children will just be identified as hyperlexic. Don't expect to receive a diagnosis of hyperlexia type I, II, or III.

There are a couple of reasons for this. 

One, the research doesn't necessarily support these three types. They are, after all, just one proposed theory.

Two, most professionals don't even know about hyperlexia, let alone the three types of hyperlexia. Hard to "diagnose" something you don't know exists, right?

Finally, there is a lot of disagreement on how to best describe and define hyperlexia. As a result, not all experts agree on the three types and instead "argue that the term hyperlexia be reserved to describe only those individuals who (a) demonstrate a reading comprehension deficit in the absence of deficits in decoding skills and (b) have been diagnosed with ASD." (Robertson, 2019

Kupperman (1998) also notes that "the diagnosis of hyperlexia does not apply to children who are precocious in reading but who do not exhibit a significant language disorder." (source)

For me, the type doesn't matter. Instead, knowing the term hyperlexia applies to my child is all that matters. It gives me the information I need to best understand my kid and better support their needs. 

I encourage you not to dwell too much on the type and instead focus on the fact that your child is hyperlexic regardless. 

Who Can Identify Hyperlexia?

Your best bet for getting your child identified as hyperlexic is to find a professional who is knowledgeable about hyperlexia. But that's easier said than done, I know.

However, if you can't find someone knowledgeable about hyperlexia, look for someone who is knowledgeable about autism. They're more likely to have heard of and/or have experience with hyperlexia. After all, hyperlexia is quite common in autistic populations (anywhere from 5-10% of autistics are said to be hyperlexic).

In my experience from talking with other parents of hyperlexic children, their child has been identified as hyperlexic in one of four ways:

  • From a psychologist, usually during an autism evaluation
  • From a neurologist
  • From a speech therapist, usually after the parent raises the possibility of hyperlexia
  • Self-diagnosed and confirmed by professionals
Since hyperlexia is not an official diagnosis, you will likely not receive a "diagnosis" on paper. However, many professionals will either introduce you to the label of hyperlexia or will confirm your suspicions. 

For us, we learned about our son's hyperlexia during his autism evaluation when the psychologist introduced us to the labels of hyperlexia and hypernumeracy to describe his skills and abilities regarding superior decoding of language and math. I am still so grateful to the psychologist for introducing us to hyperlexia and hypernumeracy because it certainly made everything so clear! We finally got the answer that we needed and were able to find appropriate strategies to help my son succeed.

Quite a few speech therapists that we have interacted with haven't heard of hyperlexia or know so little about it. So I don't think we would have been able to get my son identified as hyperlexic in this manner. Other parents have had varied experiences with this avenue.

However, had I been aware of hyperlexia when J was a toddler, I am positive that I would have self-diagnosed him with it and then raised my suspicions with professionals to confirm the "diagnosis." Many parents seem to find themselves in this position. They learn about hyperlexia, have a major aha moment, and push professionals to confirm their suspicions. 

Just a quick note to any adults who are discovering that they themselves might be hyperlexic or even to parents who can't find a professional knowledgeable about hyperlexia. Self diagnosis is totally valid, even without the professional confirmation.

To me, you know when your child has hyperlexia when you see pictures and videos of other kids with hyperlexia acting exactly like your child. I know that when I finally googled hyperlexia and watched some videos, looked at photos, and read about hyperlexia that I had finally found what J had. It was so clear that he was hyperlexic!

What you need to know about the hyperlexia "diagnosis" and getting your child identified as hyperlexic

More Information on the Hyperlexia Label and its "Diagnosis"

The best resource that I have come across is this hyperlexia pamphlet from the Canadian Hyperlexia Association, which, unfortunately, does not exist anymore. For further information on the assessment and evaluation process for hyperlexia, carefully review pages 3-5.


Other Hyperlexia Resources You'll Love 

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Sunday, January 03, 2021

Important Hyperlexia Milestones

A look at hyperlexia and language development, particularly the developmental milestones and signs of hyperlexia.

Parents of hyperlexic children quickly realize that their child isn't going to follow a typical developmental chart. 

And they're certainly not going to find a chart labeled developmental milestones of a hyperlexic child. Although that would have been nice to have.

But many parents wonder what to expect from their precocious little reader in the coming years, especially in terms of language development.

I recently shared a brief video on Instagram covering important hyperlexia milestones, but you can only cram so much into 15 seconds...So let's take a closer look at the development of a self-taught precocious reader and examine some of the important signs of hyperlexia and language development that you should be aware of.

Signs of hyperlexia and language development milestones to watch out for

But First...A Few Important Notes About these Hyperlexia Milestones

  • Every hyperlexic child is unique. So please keep in mind that these milestones are just general guidelines and averages. Your hyperlexic child's journey might vary from the age ranges listed below. However, they will likely still follow a similar developmental path.

  • These milestones are just meant to give you an idea of what to expect in the coming years. They are particularly helpful for parents who have a precocious toddler, have just learned of hyperlexia, and recognize that their child certainly isn't going to follow a typical developmental milestone chart.
  • These milestones are just basic overviews of what to expect in terms of hyperlexia and language development. They do not delve into behavior or social domains. Although I touch on social language briefly.

  • Comprehension abilities will vary widely so don't come at me with the whole "but my hyperlexic kid is three and understands everything he reads!" These issues become more apparent as they age, when the texts get harder and rely on more complex skills like inferencing, synthesizing information, etc. Some comprehension issues may be relatively mild, but most hyperlexic kids will have quite a pronounced gap between their decoding and comprehension levels.
  • I'm obviously not an expert in childhood development. The milestones listed below are based on research, journal articles, and my own personal experiences and observations. And if you read some of the comments on my original video, you'll notice that many other families' hyperlexic children have followed the same developmental path as listed below.

Common Milestones for the Hyperlexic Child

Around 18-24 months, the hyperlexic child begins identifying letters and numbers (Kupperman et al., 1998). This is usually one of the first signs of hyperlexia that parents notice.

By age 3, the hyperlexic child begins reading, but it can happen anytime before age 5 (Kupperman et al., 1998). In our case, the precocious reading started just before my son's second birthday.

From 4 1/2 to 6 years of age is the language explosion period. During this period, hyperlexic kids see a "marked improvement in language abilities" (Kupperman et al., 1992). This language explosion might include less reliance on echolalia, fewer pronoun reversals, a boost in vocabulary, becoming a bit more conversational, and/or an increase in understanding WH- questions (who, what, where, etc.), for example. Kupperman et al. also noted, however, that difficulties with social language persisted and often do persist throughout adulthood for hyperlexic children.

At around the 4th grade, or between the ages of 8 and 10 years, is when the reading comprehension gap is often quite noticeable (Robertson, 2019). Robertson points out that, in the fourth grade, texts become more complex and there are changes in classroom expectations, including, but not limited to:

  • More reliance on inferencing skills to learn vocabulary (instead of direct teaching) where they are expected to use context clues from the text to determine meaning
  • Narratives are replaced by expository text
  • More silent independent reading instead of whole group reading and, therefore, bigger expectations for comprehending materials independently
  • More complex content academically which relies heavily on good background knowledge, schema, synthesizing information and concepts, and making connections
  • More idioms, metaphors, and figures of speech throughout texts, which means inferencing skills become more important

Robertson notes that, "fourth grade also often marks the downward spiral point for students with hyperlexia, many of whom, once considered advanced readers, suddenly appear to develop a reading disability (Iland, 2011). This can be largely attributed to a number of atypical, but initially unrecognized, gaps in the students’ reading skills profile. While a rudimentary understanding of concrete concepts coupled with good memory skills is typically sufficient for academic success during the early grades, hidden deficits in reading skills begin to surface as classroom expectations change." (source)

Elaborating further on the comprehension issues of hyperlexia, Robertson says, "Although the deficits have been there all along, the abrupt shift in expectations related to reading in the later grades increasingly exposes the gap between decoding and comprehension." (source)

That's why it's important to work on comprehension skills with your hyperlexic child, right from a young age, even if comprehension issues aren't yet apparent or you believe their comprehension is fine. It will help ensure that the gap between decoding and comprehension is narrowed by the time fourth grade rolls around, setting them up for success in even higher grades.

Important milestones for hyperlexia and language development

Other Hyperlexia Resources You'll Love

Free Hyperlexia Handbook

I Think My Child is Hyperlexic...Now What?

Books About Hyperlexia

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Friday, November 06, 2020

Free Printable Answering WH Questions Cheat Sheet

Answering WH questions can be tricky for hyperlexic kids. This free printable cheat sheet gives examples of how to answer WH questions.

When it comes to teaching WH questions to hyperlexic kids, it's important to teach them directly. That includes teaching them both how to ask and how to answer WH questions. 

One of the ways to do that is to give them a visual support that shows examples or lists out how to answer each type of question. Having it all written out is so helpful for hyperlexic kids.

That's where this free printable answering WH questions cheat sheet comes in. 

It takes these WH question word cards one (very detailed) step further by giving clear examples of possible answers for a variety of WH questions. And I'm talking beyond who, what, where, when, why, and how here. Those types of questions are just a small sampling of possible WH questions your child will encounter.

Free printable list of WH questions and answers examples

About this Answering Wh Questions Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet breaks down 18 different types of WH questions and variants, including:

  • Who questions
  • Whose questions
  • What questions, including: What kind/type? What time? What for?
  • Why questions
  • When questions
  • Where questions
  • Which questions
  • How questions, including How much? How many? How old? How long? How often? How far? How come?
Then it gives concrete and specific ways to answer each. 

For instance, we know "who" questions are asking for information about a person, but that could be the name of a person (real or imaginary), an animal, an occupation, a role, a description, a title, or even a pronoun.

So your child can scan the list for the type of WH question they are being asked and then look at the possible ways to answer it and (hopefully!) feel more confident formulating a response. Or, alternatively, if they are wanting to ask a specific question, they could look at the answer column and use those examples as a clue for which WH question word to use when asking a question.

Download the Free Printable Answering WH Questions Cheat Sheet

This printable includes two pages of types of WH questions along with possible ways to answer each. To get your copy, enter your name and email in the form below.

Other WH Questions Resources You'll Love

How to Teach WH Questions to Hyperlexic Kids

Free WH Questions Social Story

Free Question Word Cards

Use this free printable WH questions answers cheat sheet for teaching kids how to answer WH questions

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