Parent Testimonials

“I wish all parents of children with Down syndrome knew about your curriculum, Natalie! It works!!!! My 11 year old is reading. I bought it and asked his teacher to use it. She did. And then bought the curriculum for her other special kids! She loves it too! Thanks for your hard work to help our kids!”

–G.K., MN

“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., CA

“After no significant success with other programs for my son with Down syndrome, my ‘last ditch’ was to attend Natalie Hale’s workshop hosted by the Down Syndrome Connection. Three small tips made a world of difference, and after two weeks, Liam began to read. And I mean REALLY read! I would like to say a big thank you to Natalie Hale for helping me discover the keys to unlocking Liam’s ability to learn to read.”

–L.H., CA

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you!!!! After reading about your Fast Flash method, and following it at home, my 10-year-old son just two days ago read me his first 5 words!!!! To say he and I were ecstatic is an understatement.”

–J.A., United Kingdom

“The school is absolutely amazed at my daughter’s reading progress. It has made a massive difference to her. I wish I had found your materials ages ago.”

–H.W., United Kingdom

“We feel so grateful to you…your seminar was so inspiring! My son (6, Down syndrome) is reading better every day. He started Kindergarten today and had a wonderful day. His teachers were so happy with him! Thank you again!! Your work is so important–and you have given us so much hope. My son’s eyes light up when he reads…he is so proud! Thank you!”

–M.R., RI

“I bought the Pre-Primer bundle from you in Washington D.C., at the AIA conference. My son is doing wonderfully with it! He uses it at home, school, and with his reading tutor. It won’t be long until we’re ordering the next bundle!”

–S.C., Facebook

“If you have not used Natalie’s reading series for your child with Down syndrome, you need to! My guy is reading now due to her reading series Special Reads for Special Needs. He was not progressing, so we found this program and asked the school to try it, as we were having success at home. They not only tried it, they bought the curriculum for all their special kids! It just works!”

–G.K., MN

“I was singing your praises yesterday to some moms at a support group meeting. I feel so grateful for your work! I am attaching a video of my son reading; it is the greatest thing when he picks up his books and just reads! I love it and can’t thank you enough.”

–M.R., NY

“Natalie Hale’s blogs give great nuggets for teaching reading to our kids. She tells you WHY certain things work and don’t work for our kids. I am telling you…I credit her for the ‘light bulb’ turning on for me as far as understanding how my child’s mind works. So enlightening!”

–J.R.H., CA

“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., CA

“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., KY

“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., OH

“I am sure you get this a lot, but I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am by the effectiveness of your approach to teaching our children how to read. I have only recently been using your books, but already appreciate what you do. My daughter is three. She will turn four on World Down Syndrome Day. She and my one-year-old son (who is almost two) both love the books we received. I wanted to share a video of her reading through your book. I suppose it is common to see these results, but I felt the urge to share. Please note that English is not her first language and she has some conductive hearing loss. Her dominant language is Spanish, and I hope to create my own books in Spanish as soon as possible.”

G.F., MA

“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., OH

“Your books are delightful! Thank you so much for making Special Reads so much fun!”

–N.F., IN

“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., KY

“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, NY

“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, NH

“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., NY

“I was introduced to Special Reads this last week and I am thrilled to have found you! My 9-year-old son knows his letters and has been sight reading a handful of words so I know he is capable. For years I felt overwhelmed at how to do this on my own, as I felt school was not encouraging him much in this area (probably because he is non-verbal). They could not tell that he knew as much as he does. But your material is just what I have been looking for! Thank you for empowering me as a mother. Your methods make sense to me, your instructions are easy to follow, and it is so obvious you understand the heart language of our kids! We have already started on our homemade books and flash cards and can’t wait for your pre-primer bundle to arrive! THANK YOU!!”

E.L.H., WA

“We LOVE the program Special Reads for Special Needs. My daughter is VERY interested in the books and is already reading the ‘Spaghetti’ book. I can’t say enough good things about this program.”

–D.L., OR

“Hi, Natalie- We feel so grateful to you! My son just turned 8 and is in 2ND grade. This year, for the first time, he read all his own birthday cards! (Tears!) Something has clicked these last few months, and his reading is so much better! He picks up books to read instead of playing with technology gadgets. His reading is so much smoother. He reads everywhere we go! Reading is important to us. My husband and I are lawyers and avid readers, and it is so important to us that our son enjoy the pleasure of reading a good book. Thank you for your work! I share your website with everyone and tell them to buy your program and books. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us!”

–M.S.R., NY

“My son Charlie laughs out loud with ‘Spaghetti!’ And my older daughters are enjoying ‘Oh, Brother!’ Thank you so much for your ideas; how you really stand apart from others is the fun factor.”

–S.G., NJ

“Natalie Hale, my husband remembers meeting you almost 10 years ago at an NDSS conference where you spoke. We used the Fast Flash method after he met you, and I am happy to tell you that my daughter was reading by age 3 and in kindergarten was reading at about a 4th grade level. Reading is my daughter’s favorite activity!”


“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

“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 else to get them from your site…”

C.L., MD

“I want to share that we just started with your reading program, and my daughter who didn’t like to read now asks for the books! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!”

M.R., FL

“After reading Natalie Hale’s blog and excellent directions, I created personal books for my son (5 yrs.) He acted tortured the first few times, although he was immediately interested in looking at them (he was tortured about pointing and sitting still), but within 4 days, when I pulled them out, he got in his seat and was soooo into it! Pointing, trying to say many words in the book and with the flash cards. Great results! I actually took a video to show to the speech therapist; she was impressed. She said his new verbalization was phenomenal–we are SO seeing good things, with more to come!”

S.K., OK

“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., IA