Discover the keys to teaching children and adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities how to read for meaning. Written for today’s busy parents and teachers, this easy-to-use guide explains how to “go in through the heart” to hook beginning and struggling readers with high-interest, individualized materials—flashcards, personal books, and modified trade books. The simple strategies described are designed to “teach to the brain” and are based on research about how we learn most easily and naturally.
The methods in the book can be adapted for learners of any age who are reading at a third grade level or below. One of the main strategies is “Fast Flash,” which involves making flash cards of the words the child is learning and then showing them to him or her as quickly as possible. Another strategy is “Sandwich Style,” a motivating method of alternating fun reading activities with less-fun, but equally important ones.
The crux of the instructional method described in Whole Child Reading is to teach the child to sight read for content before focusing on phonetics. The book emphasizes providing new or struggling readers with books that are intensely interesting to them about topics they love in order to get them excited about reading. With the help of plentiful illustrations, author Natalie Hale explains how best to motivate new readers using a combination of home-made and adapted materials.
Whether or not you have any formal teaching experience, you can easily work the reading activities described in Whole Child Reading into your child’s routine at home. If you have at least five minutes a day to spend on reading, you have enough time to get started using Whole Child Reading!
Written by Natalie Hale
Natalie Hale is the mother of an adult son with Down syndrome. A national speaker on the topic of teaching reading to learners with Down syndrome for the last 24 years, she founded Special Reads for Special Needs in 2000. She lives in Los Angeles and continues to travel, speak, and teach across the United States and abroad.
Also by Natalie Hale:
Down Syndrome Parenting 101