Our Reading Program

After a recent post on IG and Facebook, several people have asked about the reading program we are doing with Hazel. I am happy to share what we have been doing.

Here is an overview of what we are working on now to teach Hazel how to read. I am only sharing to give you ideas to use as you see fit for your family and children. We all learn differently and this should in no way influence your decisions about educating your children however you like. There are a lot of amazing parents out there doing some really amazing work with their kiddos.

Actually, if you have any resources you would like to add to this list please feel free to post a comment on this post.

Before I began any specific reading program, I did a ton of research/reading on how kids best learn to read, specifically at such a young age. I read and watched all this material before I decided on the type of program that was manageable for us. I also spoke to a friend of mine who has a child with DS, who has had a lot of success from using some of these resources as well. She was frequently texted and bombarded, by me, with questions about the best places to look for information and specifically the reading program. I would probably add her to the list of the resources on this page (hehe).

I want to point out and stress that I have not done any of these programs just as they appear. I just go at Hazel's pace and try not to let her get bored. It has to be just fast paced enough to keep her stimulated and not to fast to make her uninterested or frustrated. I always do the cards when we are all in a good mood (so you can see that can present it's own challenges). The girls actually really like the flash cards so it's not as difficult as it sounds. They see them and they are happy!!!

Our reading program started out with 5 words in one week, read at least once per day (sometimes twice). The second week I added 5 more words and the girls really enjoyed the flashcards so they ask for it about 2x per day. I do the words 3 times each. I always stop before they want to stop and while they are having fun. I am silly,loud and overly animated so that they think it is super fun and they are engaged the whole time. I do not expect them to repeat the word but often times they do anyways. I do not do the speed flash method at this point because the girls are having fun going at the pace we go now. I will do it in the future if they seem to be bored. Hazel is picking up the words very quickly and I may have to increase the number of new words I add, I will just take it at her pace plus make sure I am challenging her in a productive way. Just go at your own pace and enjoy!

Here are the resources/links I used:

Book by Glenn Doman:
I got the word list from the Glenn Doman book and using things that I know Hazel likes.


Fast Flash method


Grabbing the Interest of Children with Down syndrome


Scroll to the bottom of the page and there is a Q & A about teaching
individuals with DS how to read


I watched this 11 part seminar on the NACD website:

I did a lot of poking around on the NACD website:


I am also listening to the 2 podcasts on iTunes from the NACD called:

Down syndrome Part 1 and Down Syndrome part 2:

Some of the same material is covered in the seminar I shared above. I found
the seminar easier to listen to but the podcast has some different info so
worth a listen. There are parent testimonials and experiences included in
the podcast. I found it helpful to listen to the seminar before the podcast
but it's totally up to you.

Happy reading and Good luck!!!