Russell loves books.
I noticed from a very young age Russell picked up words and actions from books very quickly...This is a post I did when Russell was 16 months old...At the end there is a short video clip of Russell looking at a book and saying the animal noises he had learned. I remember being super impressed because he learned them so quickly after only being shown the book a few times.
Kids with Down syndrome are visual learners...They can have problems with short term memory and so repetition is key in helping them learn. I have noticed this with Russell. He learns very quickly when he can see a picture of something...I only have to read a book through a few times with him before he knows the words or actions I use for each page. He almost seems to learn quicker than my other kids did at this age when using books. I never had a two year old sit and concentrate on a book the way Russell does.
When Russell was born I didn't think he would ever read.
Back then I didn't know what kids with Down syndrome could do.
The two blogs I have linked to prove that children with Down syndrome learn the very same as any other child. These little girls are only four and five years old...They have parents who believe in them and give them every opportunity they can to learn and grow. They are an inspiration to me as I teach Russell.
They remind me, that he can do it...All of it.
It may take extra work, extra patience, extra effort, extra practice...
He will read, and he will write.
This is a video of Russell looking through a book...Why this video means so much to me is because the second time I went through this book with Russell he remembered every word I had used or action I had done and he copied it. I was surprised and proud of how quickly he learned it.
Now I know as his Mom I am probably going to be the only one who understands the words he is using or what he is doing on each page...But I will try to explain real quick.
* When Russell sees a truck or car he will make a driving noise...Kind of like blowing raspberries...I am working with him on trying to say the actual word though.
* When Russell sees the bird picture he says "brrr"...We are still trying to get him to finish up his words.
* When he sees the cat he makes a cat sound "Meow"
* He says the words "dig, dig" when we get to the excavator digging.
* You can barley see it cause he does it so quick as soon as we turn the page, but he signs fish at the whale picture...He has his own way of signing that word...He kind of waves his hand.
* My all time favorite is his lion imitation!!!!
You can see as we go through the book he is excited to get to that page...He knows its coming so he starts roaring and doing his clawing action. He loves walking around the house acting like a lion...It's pretty cute!
* When we get to the elephant page he makes a spraying water sound, like a hose.
* And the last page he says "buh" for bus...Again he doesn't finish the entire word off...Still working on that...But he is trying to say it and that's the great thing!
Anyway, its a video I am proud of because I know how quickly Russell learned to do this book and I love seeing him learn and remember things. Even though he cannot say some of the words perfectly he does say them and apply them to the proper things...When he sees the school bus outside he will say "Buh" and when he sees a bird outside he will point and say "Brrr"...So at this point I am thrilled with his understanding, the perfecting of the words will come in time.
I am very proud of Russell and his progress. I think he is such a smart little guy.
We are going to be getting him an Ipad soon...I have seen many Moms of children with Down syndrome and other Special needs using it to help teach their children and it looks like it has fantastic apps! So we are excited about that, it's just another tool that he will benefit from.