Tag Archives: teaching children with Down syndrome to read

To Read or Not to Read, That is the Question

True story.

Last week was letter “P” week around here for the Littles.

Of course any time you talk about the letter P, you must have pizza, right?

So I planned pizza for lunch one day and wrote out two flash cards.  Not that Noah is reading or anything, but I’m kind of clueless how in the world I’m ever going to teach him to read, so for now I’m taking the approach of surrounding him with words.

I had a flashcard for pizza and a flashcard for plate.

I put a plate down and the flashcard down, pointed to the word “plate”, pointed to the plate and said, “plate.”  Then I put my finger under the p in plate and moved it along the word as I said it.

Next I did the same thing with a slice of pizza and the “pizza” flashcard.

Noah watched but was very unimpressed.  It seems he could care less about my flashcards.

So I was pretty convinced he is totally not comprehending that p-i-z-z-a spells pizza or that p-l-a-t-e spells plate.

But at least I could check one more “p” activity off my list.

He ate the first piece of pizza.

Then he signed “more.”

Then he pointed to the “pizza” flashcard I had absent-mindedly left sitting on the table next to him along with the flashcard for the word “plate.”

But he very distinctly pointed to “pizza.”

It’s times like these that make me feel like I’ve got a little con artist on my hands.

Free Printable Interractive Book – Bath Time

Since I’m taking a PROMPT-induced hiatus from working on articulation with Noah, I finally have the time to make some of the materials I’ve been creating in my head. One of the things we want to make sure Noah (6 with Down syndrome) is always moving forward on is receptive language, in other words, vocabulary.

One of the skills children start to work on in kindergarten is analogies, which require an understanding between the relationships of objects. For example, bathe is to bathtub as sleep is to bed.

Here’s a free DIY PEC Book – Bath Routine that uses PECs to complete the following sentences:
I take a bath in a (bathtub).
I wash my hair with (shampoo).
I wash my body with (soap).
The bathtub is filled with (water).
I dry off with a (towel).


You’ll find in addition to the story pages and the PECs, I have also included word-only flashcards to accompany the PECs. If you are using See and Learn, Reading Language Intensive (Sue Buckley), Patricia Oelwein’s methodology as set out in Teaching Reading to Children With Down Syndrome or another reading program that uses matching, you’ll be able to use the materials in this download using those techniques.  Make two copies of the PEC/flashcard page, and  you can use those cards to create a memory (concentration) game or to practice matching picture to picture, picture to word and word to word.

We store these stories by putting each page in a page protector and then putting them in a binder.
The bottom of the inside of the back cover of the binder has a strip of Velcro (hook side) that I lay out all the PECs on, and Noah picks the correct PEC to put in the empty box on the story page we are working on. (You’ll have to put a Velcro loop dot on the back of each PEC and a Velcro hook dot in the middle of each empty box.)

Our kiddos are so used to going with the flow, it’s easy for us to assume they have basic bath time vocabulary, but in doing this activity with Noah, I found he needed some help.   If your child doesn’t quite grasp this on the first go-round, quietly point to the correct card as you work through the book.  By the second or third go-round, they will probably be able to do it without any help at all.

Don’t forget to learn the sign language for these words.  Once you know the signs, you’ll be able to practice them over and over again as bath time seems to keep popping up.  www.lifeprint.com and www.aslpro.com are great sources for free ASL video and pictorial dictionaries.

National Down Syndrome Literacy Survey

Dr. Kathleen Whitbread, over at http://www.openbooksopendoors.com, is conducting a survey on literacy experiences of children with Down syndrome. Participate and spread the word – these surveys require a broad base of participation, and the more participants, the more accurate results can be achieved. If you blog about the world of special needs, would you consider posting an invitation to this brief 10-minute study on your site?

The link to the survey is here: http://openbooksopendoors.com/2012/11/16/invitation-to-take-part-in-a-survey/

Thanks so much!