|I have the ability to learn SO much!|
I have done some reading about flashcards being a successful tool to help children with Down Syndrome learn to read. I have always planned to use flashcards with Felix when he is a bit older, because it seems like a really fun and interactive way to learn. Kids with Down Syndrome are generally visual learners and respond well to things they can see. After my conversations with a few people last night, I'm going to start making, and using, some flashcards as soon as I can. The people I spoke to have taught me some innovative ways to be able to use flashcards for communication and not just to learn to read.
|Our daughter, Bekah, put these words on this photo|
of Felix. Speaks volumes!
Another great suggestion was to take photos of things Felix likes to do; a favourite puzzle, toy, book, or the sandpit or slide, then laminate the photos for longevity. If I want to know what Felix would like to do next, I can show him some of the photos (flashcards), and he can point to the thing he would like to do. It would eliminate some of the guess work, and hopefully empower Felix so he feels that he is being understood a lot more. Obviously speaking the words and signing them along with the flashcards is important, to help with speech development, but the cards would certainly help for the interim and would assist others who don't understand his signs or attempts at speech.
|Having a snack while Daddy watches|
All of these suggestions were very enlightening for me, because I've always been a big fan of educational play and using different resources to help our kids learn. Having Down Syndrome means that Felix does have some delays, but it doesn't mean he doesn't have the ability to learn or even pick some things up very quickly. It just means thinking outside of the box sometimes, and being a little bit more creative about how we teach him. I find it really important to observe his learning styles and to find out what works for him and what doesn't. It's an exciting road to be travelling. It's different from the one we've walked with the other kids, but it just means there are lots of new things to learn and see along the way.