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Becoming a Reader!

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For children with Down syndrome, autism or other disabilities, reading can be challenging. It is closely tied to speech and often speech is one of the major obstacles our children face.  When Jordan was about 4, I discovered my old business cards in a drawer at home. I took out a two-inch-thick supply and wrote a word on the back of each. “I,” “love,” “you,” “Daddy,” “Mommy,” “Harper,” “Kevin,” “Grammy” and “Grampy” for starters. The small stack of cards fit neatly in my purse or pocket. When we had time, we pulled them out and used them. Harper, a year older, usually got the privilege of sequencing the cards into sentences such as, “I love Mommy.” As Jordan’s skills improved, we put in new words like “loves” which required him to see the need to change subjects as in, “Harper loves Daddy.” The game was fun, it was meaningful, and we used it everywhere.


By the time he began kindergarten, Jordan was a reader. He was a reader not because he is brilliant or because his parents had specialized backgrounds. He was and continues to be a reader because his parents, grandparents and brothers believed in his ability to learn. He is a reader because those around him converted their belief in his abilities into action. A pocketful of cards; a world of knowledge.

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