“Our son learned to read with those books!”

Last month in Denver at the NDSC Conference, I was at my Special Reads booth when a couple walked by. They pointed to the Spaghetti and I Want Pizza! books on my table. “We have had to read those books to our boys ad nauseam! They insist.” said the dad, laughing. I was laughing too, and said, “Are you sorry I wrote them?”

No, no, no!” he said. “Our son learned to read with Spaghetti and I Want Pizza! We’ve had to make new copies of them because the old ones wore out. Those books live on our nightstand.”

Same Story

Pre-Primer Bundle

Emergent Reader (Pre-Primer) Bundle

I have heard that same story many times over the years from parents. I designed the first of these books 25 years ago. So why do they work? Because they are in tune with the heart of kids with Down syndrome. Secondly, because they match up with the learning styles of those same children. Third, because they also teach the required Word Lists that schools value so highly.

Fun + Required Word Lists

Because I raised an often-hilarious son with DS beginning 28 years ago, I totally got it that he wanted to have fun all the time and was not interested in what he was not interested in. So when I taught him to read at age 5, I created books that rocked his socks. Knowing that many kids with DS have the same mission in life, I settled on creating picture books that were both funny and food-centered. A long-time SLP (speech therapist) and super-geek designed interactive CDs to go with those books, and Special Reads was born.

After some years of tutoring kids with DS in reading, I saw the necessity of providing a different genre of reading materials for them, this time based on required word lists. So the printable CDs were born: E, Primer, and First Grade levels. These CDs are the economical way for parents to print off simple books that make learning these “boring” word lists easy. I loaded the CDs with extra PDF files: flash cards, tabletop cards, comprehension sheets (first grade level), and instructions.

Which Level Do I Start With? Is It By Age?

Nope. You start where the child’s current reading ability is. Age is not the determining factor; only the learning needs of the child/teen determine where you start.

Primer Bundle

Primer Bundle

Can I Bring These Materials Into My Child’s Classroom?

Definitely. I suggest to parents that they print two copies of the Word List books, one set being for the teacher. The teacher will appreciate the gift, because there are currently no similar materials available which are formatted specifically for ease of learning for kids with DS, and yet the teacher is required to teach your child those very words. The teacher might also realize from looking at these materials that today, we expect that our children will learn to read. What was once the exception is now the expected norm. Welcome to 2013!

That’s All, Folks

So here are the links: Emergent Reader Bundle, Primer Bundle, and First Grade Bundle. My site has links-to links-to links so that you can go as far into viewing these materials as you like. Call or email if you have any questions!

Yes, Please Share

First Grade Bundle

First Grade Bundle

I’m not posting this particular blog on any DS FB group pages, because although there are no rules against anyone sharing this blog, there are rules against self-generated “for-profit” posts; Special Reads is not so much a “for-profit” as it is a “for-keeping-the-doors-open” resource so that I can continue to serve the DS community! So please feel free to share away!





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