As a first-grade teacher, I saw the educational value in using the book "Spaghetti" with my son, who has Down syndrome. Because he has been known to NOT like teaching books, I wasn't sure if he'd like it. But the illustrations were so bright and funny that Nathan was completely engaged.
He requested it over and over and over! His "favorite" book taught him to enjoy reading books. This led to his desire to read more. Nathan is now entering the 4th grade, and is reading at a 3rd grade level! I believe this is due to books like "Spaghetti"!
- M.M., Iowa
"I was just at the Educational Therapists Convention in California and bought your Pre-Primer CDRom. I showed it to a first grade student today who loved it! The clarity and simplicity and repetition are perfect for reinforcing basic words. I would like to order the rest of the series as soon as they're ready."
- S.M., Illinois
"My daughter is 8, has Down syndrome, and has been slowly learning sight-words for about a year in first grade. On Sunday, I read your instructions and started "Fast Flashing" the words for the book "Spaghetti!". By Tuesday, she said the words before I did when I showed her the cards-- so I gave her the book. She read it...she loves it!!!!
Thank you. It is so exciting to find something that 'turns the key'."
- T.A., New York
"I have two boys with Down syndrome. Mendy (13) LOVES your books and reads them over and over for his reading tutor (he even prefers them over Super Heroes). 'I want Pizza' is perfect for Yitzi (13), and now he sight-reads many more words than before. Since they love your books, I was wondering what to order from your site next..."
- C.L., Maryland
"My kids (K through 2nd) are learning so much faster now. I had kids I had almost given up on for learning sight words. It just wasn't sinking in, after a year and a half of trying to teach them any sight words. After attending your workshop, I made the flash cards large, in red, flashed them quickly like you showed us, and used your program.
In a month and a half, every one of the kids learned 15 sight words. It's amazing. This is an incredible, incredible program."
- L.L., Special Educator, Oklahoma
"It's quite difficult to find books for my daughter that have an interesting subject, are easy to read, visually uncluttered, and still aren't baby-ish. So keep writing!"
- M.J., Sweden
"Thanks for such ingenious products."
- D.B., Georgia
"I'm a Special Ed teacher, and I recently attended your seminar in New York. I returned to work determined to give your method a try. I explained to my colleagues that I would begin teaching sight words with no picture cues, using Fast Flash and your method.
'Yeah, right,' they said. 'Like that's going to work." Now, months later, they're saying, 'Wow! This really works!'"
- R.R., Special Educator, New York
"Ms. Natalie, as she is affectionately known in our family, turned on the lights for all of us. My daughter (5, Down syndrome) is non-verbal but reading well over 200 words thanks to the Special Reads methodology.
Without Natalie, we might not have known how much more of Ava was 'locked up' inside."
- A.P., California
"We LOVE these books! My son, just turned 7, has Down syndrome, and we homeschool. He has learned all of the words in the three books we have, and enjoys reading them to me so much. Thank you very much for such wonderful products."
- J.L., Home Schooler, New Hampshire
"I attended your presentation on reading in Dayton last Spring, and I want to tell you that my son Reid is doing fabulously. He has Down syndrome and is 6 years old; because of your reading program, he'll be entering kindergarten reading!
I'm really excited with his progress. He's done very well with your Spaghetti book and all your other Step One books; and because of your So Many Colors book, now knows and can read all his colors. And the whole family enjoys listening to the "Brain Music"!
I'm very, very pleased and tell everyone I can about your reading program."
- E.H., Ohio
"My daughter Zoe (5, Down syndrome) has been working with Natalie for almost 2 years and the results are simply amazing.
Zoe can consistently sight read 50-75 words without practice or reminders, and can sight read up to 200 words with some prompts or recent exposure to those words. Zoe is also generalizing her skills and spontaneously reading words with large print in books, her classroom, etc.
Practicing at home is made easy by Natalie's materials, which are high interest and simple.
Even better, Natalie has infused Zoe with a love of reading, and "reading time" with Natalie is one of her favorite activities."
- S.F., California
"I can't imagine anyone who works with your materials not being thrilled with them. My students love them."
- D.O., Speech Language Pathologist, Ohio
"Most books for small children are so cluttered that it is hard to focus on the task at hand. I'm glad I found your web site because I was about to make my own materials! I couldn't find anything in the stores that suits my child's needs."
- S.B., New Jersey
"Laura loves "Spaghetti!" so much that her teachers use it as a reward for tasks done. All our friends know about Spaghetti, because Laura carries it everywhere.
I used the flash cards, and she learned the words in two days. I think the flash cards are one of the most important features of your materials...they make the book interactive, as you can create new sentences with them."
- M.C., Ohio
"We got your book "Spaghetti!" and LOVED it. Our daughter who is 7 with
Autism and our 11 year old son with Down Syndrome use it at school time as
their favorite book to read."
- S.B., Home Schooler, New York
"Ever since I read your "Spaghetti!" book to my kindergarten class, they keep getting the book off the shelf and laugh and laugh at the pictures and the "thoughts" every time!"
- S.H., Educator, Ohio
"My daughter loves the "Spaghetti!" book. She learned to read it easily. When she gets discouraged with her reading and things get tough, we get the book out to remind us both that reading can be fun...
Your books and the information gained from hearing you speak have been a big help to us."
- K. M., Kentucky
"I used your "Macaroni and Baloney" in my high school class. It worked great, is so "hip" and cool, and the concept is right on target. I also used one of your books at home with my 3-year-old son, and he loved it.
He learned some of the words right away, and called out the words as we flashed the cards. My wife was so impressed!"
- L.G., Special Educator, Ohio
"Your books are delightful! Thank you so much for making Special Reads so much fun!"
- N.F., Indiana
"I was thrilled that my son, Clay, remembered the flash card words after several months of not seeing them...Thank you for making this system available for those of us with this special challenge."
- B.R., Kentucky
"I attended your seminar in Louisville sponsored by Down Syndrome of Louisville - I really enjoyed your presentation. After hearing you speak I tried homemade flashcards with my 3 & 1/2 year old with DS and after 2 quick sessions he recognized 2 words!!"
- T.M., Kentucky
"Your presentation in Allentown was wonderful, informative, and very encouraging. Thank you so much!"
- S.K., Pennsylvania