Posted by: Susan | June 13, 2013

From the trenches, teaching my kids with Down syndrome to read

I have been in the trenches a long time as far as parenting goes, excuse me while I reprimand Sam because he said a curse word while playing Game Boy, and just recently I had a light bulb moment I would like to share with you.  Most parents that have a child with DS wonder if they will learn to read to which I answer:




Yep, I am talking about sight words.  At the end of this post I am going to reveal the 4 most important sight words you should teach your child but first a story to explain why I came to this conclusion.  At the end of the day when my 25-year-old daughter, 20-year-old son, 16-year-old son and something year old husband are all busy doing their thing I retire to the bedroom closing the door behind me.  At last a little R&R time where I can kick back, read, check Facebook or just watch TV.  During that time the door flies open 5 or 10 times and I am greeted with things like this:IMG_1112Jake was compelled to show me all his ‘stuff’ from his graduation last year and sing me a song that his senior class sang.  Minutes later the door opened again and Sam asked if he could have a snack.  April wasn’t far behind with a request and then several more request from Sam.  It’s not only when I am in my room for some private time but also when I am out of the house and the Hunk is in charge.  Jake called me 3 times during my son-in-laws graduation ceremony.  Of course I had the phone on vibrate and remember that their father was at home with him.  That’s when I realized the first 4 sight words you should teach your younger children.  Put each word on a 3×5 card and go over them daily until they are fully locked in their brain.  And the four words are:

OFF        DUTY      ASK     DAD

I am making a sign for my door and these 4 little words will be my go to text when they call me if they are home with dad.  Or maybe I will just teach them ODAD and yes in CAPS because I really mean it.

More reading insight to come later.  Remember this is the core of any good reading program.


  1. Susan, you made me laugh out loud!!! How true!

    Dan had decided that I need a t-shirt with the letters: DMWL
    Don’t Mess With Lois
    We will see how that goes!

  2. Awesome. And true. So true.
    Marcus recognizes words, too and I’ve been thinking about continuing to help him along that path.
    I hope to have more to say about that later. 🙂

  3. Why didn’t I think of that?? I’m going to teach my 4 year old those words right now!! 🙂

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