Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Questions From Readers

 I was so happy when I came across your blog tonight.  We live in _____ and currently there is little information out here on teaching reading to young kids with DS.  I was just wondering how many flash cards do you think I start with and do I use the same cards until he is board with them or do you change every week?

When we first started teaching our daughter a few years ago, there was even less information!  Thankfully, people are realizing how well early sight word reading works with our kids so we are hearing more about it. When we first started doing flashcards, we did one set of about a dozen cards for 1 week, then switched to a whole new set.  We fast flashed them very quickly like in this blog post.

In order to fast flash them, they should be laminated.  This post has a few ways to do it:

A good book is Glenn Doman's How to Teach Your Baby to Read or How to Multiply your Baby's Intelligence - they are for older kids too.The 2nd book is the one that I have & also has information on other early learning programs besides reading.

In  his book, Glenn talks about adding new words & retiring old ones each day.  Perhaps this is ideal, but I am not organized enough, so that is why I chose to retire all of her words weekly.  I think it is better to have a system that is easy to implement & works with my schedule.

At the moment the only words our son says are mum, dad and car .  He is using a few signs. Any thoughts on showing him the word and the doing the sign.

We used sign language & it was very beneficial to our daughter. My only hesitation with signing, is that for some kids, if you teach them too many signs, they may not be motivated to speak because they can communicate enough with just signs. For sure I would teach essential signs like eat, more, drink, help, etc, but perhaps not too many.  Here is my post on my views on sign language:

We did at times use words that she could sign or action words when reading, although we did tried to input only, not require output, so we did not require her to sign in response.  

I have just signed up to brill kids.  What are your thoughts on love and learning it other USA based program I've come across.

I think love & Learning, See & Learn, YBCR & some of the other early learning programs are good, but my dd outgrew them quickly.  BrillKids has so many files & has the ability to be completely customized, so it has worked with my daughter from reading single words to customized stories.  For example, last week I made her a book titled "I'm Going to Be a Ski Racer"  I was able to put in pics of her & her sisters skiing, racing going up chairlifts etc with longer sentences & my voice saying it on Little Reader.  My daughter loves family pictures so this is a perfect way to teach her - No other program can offer all that, plus a ready made curriculum if that suits your needs best.

You are aware of the BrillKids Special Needs discount right?

I have some reviews on the following page.  You may have to click on older posts at the bottom of the page to read them all.

Even though I like BrillKids best, check out the others in my reviews because there may be one that suits your family better.

I was also wondering if you have had success with toilet training your daughter?
Thanks in advance for your help.

We have been lucky that K was toilet trained by age 3.   She had the odd accident after that, but not often. She started preschool 3 months after her 3rd birthday & has never had an accident there.  We really didn't use any special techniques, although I find the Toilet training in 3 days type of program interesting.  You can google the directions - Miriam's Kauck's Einstein Syndrome has a good description with a progress diary of training her daughter too. 

and the next set of  questions from Robin:

My name is Robin and I found your blog by googling Down Syndrome.

My son was born with Down Syndrome in September 2011.

He is almost 6 months old now and I am starting to research using flashcards, word systems, your baby can read, love and learning and etc.

When I saw the video of your cutie reading I thought I would reach out to you. My question for you is... How did you begin with your daughter? What system did you use? How old was she when you started the basics with her?

You must be a very busy lady with four children! I hope you have a minute to respond. I would greatly appreciate it.


We started at around 6 months with very large flashcards with large red letters. It is important to use very large letters so babies can see them well before their eyes are able to focus well on small details.

By one year of age, we were using a bit smaller words & by about 12 months, we started with Love & Learning because at the time, it seemed to be the most commonly talked about  commercial program out there.

I did some reviews on reading programs on the following link. Make sure you click on older posts, as they take up more than 1 page.

Shortly after that, I was fortunate to stumble upon the BrillKids Little Reader (LR) program. I have tried quite a few programs, but stuck with LR because it is so easy to customize & is the only program that can still keep up with my daughter's reading ability. It has more ready made content than any other program that I know of & because I can customize it I can make a new story for any purpose. The latest example being a story about going to the dentist. Not only did she learn new vocabulary, but her trip to the dentist a week later went wonderfully because she was so well prepared. She doesn't really like strangers touching her (& it is probably good that she isn't too friendly with strangers) but the book prepared her for everything very well & she cooperated fully when having her teeth examined.

You can use this program as a computer program or use their print function to make your own cards. We used printed cards until very recently as it seemed like my dd learned much more quickly that way.

Here is a link to some info about their SN discount. Make sure you apply. It is VERY generous!

The other thing that I think is very important, is to either have the computer flash the words very quickly or to fast flash printed cards like this:

This one is also important:

You might also want to click on my important posts tab. Some of them will be helpful too.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have.


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