The gifts of children with Down Syndrome & how they learn best

Children with Down Syndrome are visual learners who rely on visual memory to recall what they have learned, so it follows that the best way to teach them is to use visuals. Other strategies that help include

  • using memory tricks
  • hands-on activities
  • manipulatives
  • patterns in spelling and in math

When teaching reading and phonics, instruction begin with sight words paired with pictures rather than learning all the letters and sounds and then having them sound out words. Once the child has learned several words, the words can be broken into their sound spelling patterns. Next, guide the child through making two or three word phrases before transitioning to longer sentences. This approach aligns nicely with their visual strengths while accommodating their weakness with short term/working memory.