Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Teaching K to read

One of the most beneficial, non mainstream thing we have done with our daughter with DS is to teach her sight words.  Today, on various DS boards there is occasionally talk of different programs to teach kids with DS to read, but just 3.5 years ago when K was born, I really don't remember reading this type of thing.  Thanks to all of you dedicated parents who are sharing your experiences, Downs Ed & other groups & individuals for raising awareness! 

In my hours of research after K was born, I was surprised to find a few groups of people on the internet that were teaching their babies to read, do math, etc. It was expected that kids with Down syndrome could do these things too. I have always had very high expectations from my dd with DS, however, it seemed so incredible that any baby, extra chromosome or not, could do any of these things. As weeks of research went by, I started experimenting a little & sharing these ideas with my husband. Again, this was difficult for me to believe.  I had never heard of starting to teach a child to read before they were 1 year of age & I didn't know a child that learned to read before kindergarten.  Eventually we took a leap of faith & jumped in.  K was less than a year old at the time, although she was closer to 18 months before we really got into a regular routine of doing flash cards.  At that point it was taking less than 5 minutes a day, we still thought it a very strange thing to do, but thought it would expose K to a wider vocabulary of words if nothing else.

K recognized the letters of the alphabet before she was 2

She read her first words out loud at about a month after her 2nd birthday

By 3.5 years she knew over 1,000 words & is now reading beginner level ( Dick & Jane) books independently.

All of this has made a huge difference in her vocabulary, pronunciation of words & even in general knowledge.  I'll go into more details at a later date, but I would like to post some videos of K reading first.

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