SPECIAL READS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
Special Reads for Special Needs Publishing was founded by Natalie Hale in 2000 to answer a need for effective, entertaining reading materials for learners with Down syndrome, Autism, and other developmental delays. Our materials are carefully designed to be in line with best practice methods and materials, while at the same time meeting the child’s need to be attracted to the reading topic. In the case of Special Reads, that means hot topics like pizza, ice cream, spaghetti, and peanut butter; definitely child-friendly!
Natalie Hale founded Special Reads to provide what she calls Essential M&Ms: Methods, Materials, and Motivation. Motivation comes first: if the child’s interest isn’t engaged, we’re not going to get our foot in the door when Down syndrome is in the mix, and if you’re a parent or an educator, you know exactly what we’re talking about. After Motivation comes best practice methods and materials, and we pay careful attention to evidence-based practice around the globe.
Our reading program at Special Reads for Special Needs offers specially designed reading materials for Emergent Reader, Primer, and First Grade levels; a Second Grade program is currently in development.
Natalie Hale is an award-winning author, an innovative educator, parent of an adult son with Down syndrome, and for over 20 years, a national speaker on the topic of teaching reading to learners with Down syndrome and other developmental delays.
Her passion for reading and her awareness of the difficulty of finding easy-to-read materials specifically designed for learners with Down syndrome led her to create Special Reads. In 1991, while teaching her 5-year-old son Jonathan (DS and ADHD) to read, she created all of his reading books and materials because there were no books available then that were visually clear enough (large type, pictures separate from type, generous white space, etc.), and none that hooked his interest. That lack led her to fill the gap by founding Special Reads. Now parents, educators, and learners have access to the Reading Program she would have loved to use then!
Natalie currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches reading to learners of all ages (she believes it’s never too late) through the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles. She continues to write books born of passion, to develop new reading programs, and to travel across the country speaking to parents and educators.
AWARD- WINNING BOOKS BY NATALIE HALE
In addition to writing and illustrating all of the reading books you’ll find on our site, Natalie’s two award-winning books were published by Woodbine House:
- Down Syndrome Parenting 101: Must-Have Advice for Making Your Life Easier
Preface by Martha Beck. This book was winner of the “Best Special Needs Parenting Book 2012, About.com Reader’s Choice Award,” and received a starred review in Library Journal.
- Managing My Money: Banking and Budgeting Basics
Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult/Non-Fiction category of the USA “Best Books 2010 Awards,” sponsored by USA Book News.
MORE BOOKS BY NATALIE HALE
- Author of Oh, Brother! Growing Up With A Special Needs Sibling A chapter book for siblings ages 6-13. (American Psychological Association)
- Author and illustrator of The Little Star’s Journey, A Fairy Tale For Survivors Of All Kinds
(Behavioral Science Center Inc.)
- Author of Author of Two Frogs in Trouble A read-aloud book of encouragement (Self-Realization Fellowship)
- Coming soon: Down Syndrome Reading: A Quick-Start Guide to Teaching Children, Teens, and Adults
PRIVATE VIDEO CONSULTS
You can get personal help from Natalie by arranging for a video consultation. This is ideal for developing a reading program and strategy specifically designed for your child or student’s level and interests. The video consults are typically one hour and utilize Skype, FaceTime, or a similar free application.
Natalie Hale Is Available
to Speak to Your Group
Natalie’s mission is to spread essential knowledge of how to teach reading effectively and quickly. She regularly travels across the country giving workshops and speaking at conferences.
To schedule Natalie for a workshop or presentation for your organization or school, call (408) 438-3268.
Rebecca Hale, M.Ed.
Curriculum and Marketing Director
Director of International Outreach
New Delhi, India
Maria Luisa Gomez
Huixquilucan De Degollado, Mexico
Natalie with her son, Jonathan.
Special Reads for Special Needs