I’ve got a million things going on and wish I could post all of them. Just wanted to share I went to a Sue Buckley (Down Syndrome Education International – http://www.dseusa.org/en/us/) conference over the weekend in Austin, and I’m very excited about their new Reading and Language Intervention program. The seminar was focused on kids aged 5-11, and Noah (6 – Down syndrome) seems to be at the PERFECT stage for starting it.
For those of you familiar with their See and Learn materials, this seems to be the next step and a very well-rounded program with both a reading strand and a language strand. At the conference, I was also introduced to an iPad app that is based on their methodology and even uses the same pictures as are used in the See and Learn Program. The app is called Special Words – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/special-words/id451723454?mt=8. If you are already using their materials, I recommend the app. We’ve played around some with See and Learn, but I didn’t feel that Noah was ready for it. I think he is ready for it now, and I let him use the app tonight. He was matching the correct word to the correct picture on his second try through the steps. I suspect he had memorized the placement of the pictures and he wasn’t truly sight reading, but even so it means he was remembering the placement of four items from screen to screen. I’m eager to play around a bit with the app and see just how much I can manipulate it. Exciting possibilities.
There is a lot of matching in these programs, and I have found that many children with Down syndrome are very good at matching. One thing Ms. Buckley emphasized is the importance of comprehension as children are learning to read, be it through this or any other program. As that was one of my earlier concerns about this methodology, I am encouraged that this may be a very solid program that could help our kids.
If you are in the San Antonio area, you should know this program is being piloted in several public schools in San Antonio. If you hear a buzz about a new reading program – this is it! Very exciting.
I’ll have more about the Reading and Language Intervention program as soon as I get the manual and start implementing it with Noah. I’m a bit cautious with these new programs, but I have to say hearing Ms. Buckley speak and seeing not only the reading strand but also the language strand definitely got my attention and got me hopeful there is something in it for Noah.
So many changes for Noah in the next few months. I’m either chasing rainbows or passionately pursuing the very best for my courageous kid.
Which one is it?
I’d love to hear from you.