Tuesday, August 25, 2015

3rd Child Life & Down Syndrome Education

I didn't leave the house with Penny or Porter during their first few months. Last week, Pax attended the MCDSIG Inclusion Conference. He got to listen to the amazing Sue Buckley teach us about preK education and Down syndrome.
He was excited to learn!
I learned a lot...hoping we can implement a few quick fixes with Porter immediately to correct behaviors and work on some longer term reading, math and behavior strategies. I learned about some of the strengths of individuals with Down syndrome (they are visual learners, have a high social and emotional understanding and can have good early reading skills) and hope to help Porter by building on these skills. I also learned about verbal memory capacity weakness that may make it harder for Porter to remember more than a few words at a time, which helps me better understand our struggles with multiple step directions. 
If you have the chance to hear Sue Buckley speak, please attend. Her teachings will help me make Porter's life better. The thing that struck me mist clearly from the day was this (in reference to individuals with Down syndrome): "What they do at 5, they'll do at 25." We need to build appropriate expectations and behavior today. Porter is very capable. So we must set high expectations and big goals. He is capable. His brain is strong. He can do great things!
This fall, we will start The Learning Program PreK module. I'm excited to teach him how to read! I'm excited to teach him using methods that draw on his strengths and account for his weaknessess. I'm excited to do this with some of the amazing families who are on this road with us. I'm excited for his future! 

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