We mark off whenever we read to him for 15 minutes, or do another suggested activity. When we've marked off a certain number of spaces we can go to the library and claim a prize (and get more books of course!). So far, Anthony has finished the first step and got a new book as his prize. When you finish all the steps, you get a free t-shirt (while supplies last...).
We've checked out lots of new books, but usually he prefers the old favorites, like Big Red Barn. It's a real page turner, as you can see!
The best book we discovered at the library is The Napping House- this is funny and beautiful book that has become one of Anthony's favorites.
I looked for an early literacy computer program that I could use to help Anthony learn his letters and sight reading, but I didn't find anything I liked. So, inspired by Ria, who made a similar video for her son Matthew, I created a homemade one.
My motivation was research from Down Syndrome Education International showing that children with Down syndrome learn language skills best by seeing, rather than just hearing words, and that learning to read at an early age can help kids with Down syndrome develop their language skills. We're already using the See and Learn Program; this is something that I thought would be a good supplement to that.
Anthony likes sitting on my lap and watching the presentation, and it definitely holds his attention. I say and sign the words while we watch together.
To make the video, I used Power Point and then imported the slides into One True Media after converting them to gif files. I chose a 3-second delay in between slides, which is the shortest option with One True Media. I can also just run it in Power Point and advance the slides myself (or have Anthony do it).
I used pictures of things that are familiar and important to Anthony. I either took photos of things around the house, used the pictures from the See and Learn program (available for free download), or found something on Google images.
I also made a version in which the words are on separate slides from the pictures. I think this will be better for helping him to learn to sight read words, but we're starting with the words paired with the pictures for now. I would love to hear if anyone knows which method is better for learning, though. See and Learn separates the words from the pictures (the words are on the back of the picture cards).