Whole Child Reading
A Quick-Start Guide to Teaching Students with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Delays
To “go in through the heart” hooks beginning and struggling readers with high-interest, individualized materials formatted to be brain-friendly: easily perceived and retained. The simple strategies described maximize “teaching to the brain” and are based on research about how our children with developmental delays learn most easily and naturally.
The methods in the book can be adapted for learners of any age who are reading at a third grade level or below. Special sections are included on teaching children who are nonverbal, learners who have the dual diagnosis of Down syndrome/autism, as well as sections on comprehension, fluency, and errorless testing. The book concludes with a teaching scaffold guide.
Whole Child Reading will guide you in teaching a child to read for meaning, for content, along with phonemic awareness, before focusing on specific rules of phonics. This avoids the problem of creating “reading machines”—children who can read anything but have no comprehension of what they just read.
Whether or not you have any formal teaching experience, you can easily work the reading activities described in Whole Child Reading into your child’s routine at home. If you have at least five minutes a day to spend on reading, you have enough time to get started using Whole Child Reading!
“As a busy mom seven years into our journey with Down syndrome…I appreciated the style of this book. Natalie Hale really breaks it down and makes it EASY for any parent to use these techniques to get their child to read. The resources at the end of the book are especially helpful with YouTube videos. You’ll learn how to create reading books for your child from nonreader all the way to the proficient reader. I wish I had had this book when my daughter was younger. Highly recommended!”
“Natalie Hale has dedicated her life to making the seemingly impossible possible for her chld and for other students with developmental delays. Whole Child Reading, which succinctly describes her brilliant approach to teaching reading, is right on the mark. Educators and parents alike can use these practical techniques. They work!”
—S.N.K., M. Ed.