Thursday, June 16, 2011

Teach reading to teach talking

One of the exciting things that we came across at the RTS Conference was from our short clinc session with a Dutch Speech Therapist who has worked with a number of different RTS kiddies. She has found that there are similarities between RTS and Down syndrome kiddies in terms of learning speech. And therefore techniques to support kids with Down syndrome have proved helpful to RTS kids.

Teaching reading to teach talking is probably the single most effective intervention for helping children with Down syndrome to overcome their learning difficulties. Quote Sue Buckley and Gillian Bird 

From what I understood is that the emphasis should be on helping Matt recognise the whole word, as opposed to first getting to know the letter sounds and then building those up to words. As he learns to recognise and read words, she reckons, his speech will benefit.

This ST recommended that we start a book with Matt where he participates in it's development. On each page we draw a picture that he has expressed interest in, and then write the word below it, as well as a sentence of 3 or 4 words. Basically this will be the level of his understanding, not his expressive language. As he helps create the book, the topics should inspire him and capture his attention. The benefit will come from repeated reading and seeing the words. 

I am still learning the mechanisms and process of how teaching reading supports kids in learning to talk. Here are some useful links on the topic:

We got started right away, even though we were still on our trip. We talked to Matt about what he had seen during the day and created our little "book" out of a note pad. We have since put the pages into a file with some photos prints to add more fun to the story telling. Matt has really taken to it and we read this "book" whenever he wants. I hope to start on a 2nd book - focussing more on his day to day experiences.



Kelly said...

Thanks so much for sharing!


Nicole said...

I've awarded you a blog award.


Christine said...

This is such an interesting post!!!
Nathan has been working a lot with letters and numbers. He is fascinated by them and I see that he recognizes the POWER of letters. I'm hopeful that he will learn to type because he will know how to spell thus improving his communication that much more.
The other day at school, Nathan's teacher decided to start spelling because he is so interested in letters. The teacher took the letter "c" "a" "t" and repeated the word CAT. Nathan then moved the letters "a and "t" over and took the letter "o" and inserted to spell COAT. He surprised everyone!

What you posted about today makes a lot of sense and I am encouraged by it. Thanks so much for blogging about this. Matt does look super happy and I think the book idea is a fantastic one- might have to borrow that idea from you.

Carol said...

Hi Jacqui - have loved reading your posts about the conference.
I went to a Sue Buckley workshop here in April and she emailed me some presentations on reading if you're interested. Welcome to drop me a mail


Debbie said...

A very interesting post indeed, I'd love to see Matt's book if you want to send it to school one day! He looks like he is loving it. I'm thinking we/you could do one about school (I paint at school; I read at school; I climb at school etc. etc.) I can supply you with pics:-)

Cindy said...

Beautiful book! I can see how much Matt enjoys it!