Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Written by Patricia Logan Oelwein

Format: Paperback, 372 pages, 8.5" x 11"
ISBN: 9780933149557
Price: $24.95

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Reading is an essential, enriching, and attainable skill for children with Down syndrome. This guide presents a nationally recognized reading program for children with Down syndrome that can be used to effectively meet a child’s unique learning needs and style.

The reading method and lessons presented here are specifically designed to be motivating, fun, and rewarding. Filled with sample flash cards, games, charts, and recommended story books, the program emphasizes the visual learning style typical of most children with Down syndrome. Parents can customize lessons to capture their child’s interests and set the learning pace to a level for greatest success.

This step-by-step guide to reading allows parents to work with their child at home and helps them coordinate reading lessons with teachers, ensuring the continuity of their child’s education year after year.


"Pat Oelwein has developed the perfect method to keep the attention of all learners--children, adolescents, and adults--by employing flash cards, games, charts, and books. Her method is not only fun, but motivating and rewarding to the learner, as well as the parent working with the student." 
—Mary Jane Garcia, Parent and Resource Specialist, National Down Syndrome Congress 

Table of Contents




Part 1: Before You Start: Background Information

Chapter 1: Historical Perspective

Chapter 2: Learning Differences Among Persons with Down Syndrome

Chapter 3: Teaching Children with Down Syndrome

Chapter 4: The Learner with Down Syndrome

Chapter 5: Success is the Key

Chapter 6: Preparing Your Child to Become a Reader

Chapter 7: About This Program

Part 2: Getting Started: The How-To

Chapter 8: Teaching Sight Words

Chapter 9: Introducing the Alphabet

Chapter 10: Beginning Phonics: Word Families

Chapter 11: Writing and Spelling

Part 3: Keeping It Going: Reading Units

Chapter 12: Action Words

Chapter 13: Household Words

Chapter 14: Self-Image

Chapter 15: Feelings

Chapter 16: Colors and Animals

Chapter 17: Foods

Chapter 18: Time: Schedules and Calendars


Appendix A: Reading Approaches and Programs/Typical Sequence for Teaching Reading

Appendix B: Sight Words/Models for Printing and Writing

Appendix C: Picture Cards and Flash Cards

Appendix D: Game Forms and Materials

Appendix E: Books


About the Author

Patricia Oelwein, a consultant in private practice, worked at the University of Washington in the Down Syndrome Programs at the Center on Human Development and Disabilities for twenty-five years. The positions she held in the program include teacher in demonstration classrooms, coordinator, and outreach trainer. She has provided specialized training for teaching children with Down syndrome and other developmental delays throughout the United States and in fourteen other countries spanning six continents.

Ms. Oelwein has published research articles and instructional materials, edited Advances in Down Syndrome with Valentine Dmitriev, and Al Nahda Functional Assessment with Applied Academics, and Literacy Skill Development for Students with Special Learning Needs with Leslie Broun.

Since 1991 she has been consultant to the Al Nahda Model Schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a project that is currently establishing training/demonstration schools throughout the country.

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