Reading and writing for infants with Down syndrome (0-5 years)

Sue Buckley and Gillian Bird

Teaching reading to teach talking is probably the single most effective intervention for helping children with Down syndrome to overcome their learning difficulties. Reading and writing skills are important for everyday life and for access to the world of literature for all children. They are also powerful tools for teaching speech and language to children with Down syndrome and for mediating their cognitive development. Beginning early, by introducing young children to reading from two years of age, will promote the development of both their spoken language and their literacy skills. This module explains how to teach reading to teach language and how language and literacy teaching can work together to promote the development of children with Down syndrome, beginning in the preschool years. Guidance on teaching methods and examples of activities show parents and teachers how to introduce young children to reading and other literacy activities. This module is linked with Reading and writing development for individuals with Down syndrome - An overview,[DSii-07-01] which should be read first, to provider the reader with evidence for the benefits of early reading and the rationale behind the programme.

Buckley SJ, Bird G. Reading and writing for infants with Down syndrome (0-5 years). Down Syndrome Issues and Information. 2001.


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Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI)

DSE's Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI) is an evidence-based programme designed to teach reading and language skills to children with Down syndrome.

RLI incorporates best practice in structured activities delivered in fast-paced daily teaching sessions. It was evaluated in a randomised controlled trial and found to improve rates of progress compared to ordinary teaching.

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