She's reading at a pretty typical early kindergarten level. (For my teacher friends, about at a DRA level 1. I'm pretty sure she would dominate the DRA level A book and be instructional at a 1.)
So I must be magic, right? Or use my amazing teacher skills to help my kid with Down syndrome read?
Here's what we've done from the start:
Baby - Age 2:
* Read a lot of books
* Use See and Learn for Vocabulary
* Point out environmental print (Words you see around - i.e., Cheerios)
* Pointed out letters
* Baby Signing Time DVDs
Age 2 - Age 4:
* Send Ellie to school
* Rachel and the Treeschoolers DVDs, Signing Time DVDs
* Listen to all the Dr. Jean songs and try to maintain calm
* Read lots of books
* Learn letters and sounds (thanks school!)
* Use letter flashcards to help with letter and sound ID
* Watch sight word videos on YouTube while doing hair each morning
* Kindergarten! Yay! Thanks, IEP team! (They do so much for Ellie.)
* Read Ellie's "Book Bag" books each day after school.
* Point out sight words while we read
* Let Ellie "read" challenging books she has memorized
* Touch under each word when we read
And we talk a lot. To her, about her, podcasts, words, words, words.
But here's the thing. This isn't prescriptive. It's descriptive. It's what works for Ellie with her strengths and weaknesses and interests. So take it as my story and not what you should do, although you're welcome to try! I just read a study about phoneme blending for kids with Down syndrome and I'll probably attempt to tackle some of that next!
* Aff links.