This pamphlet was prepared by Diane Brown
120 Lullwater Road
Greenville, SC 29607
||Permission is given to copy with proper credits.|
Note: Any prices given are approximate.
Preschool level material would be for Down syndrome children about ages 4-6+
Before choosing resources, know where your child is in his skill development. Then you will know what skills he needs to work on next and be better able to choose the resources you need.
Sample Skill list for this age group:
- Identify and name colors
- Identify and name body parts
- Match alphabet letters
- Count to 10
- Matching pictures
- Identifying one that is different
- Size and positional concepts
- Sorting by color and shape
- Complete simple puzzles
As your child grows, the gap will widen between his development and that of normally developing children. As you think about what your child needs at this level, consider the following:
How do you teach a child who is on so many different levels?
- At the chronological age of four, a child with Down syndrome will probably need to work on skills that are more appropriate for those of a child of age 3. Some skills may still be at the 2- year level.
- At the chronological age of five, your child may be on several different developmental levels. Speech especially may still be in the 2-year-old range.
- Children with Down syndrome do not learn as many things incidentally as their normally developing peers. They will need to have more direct teaching, and this means a bit of planning on your part.
Instead of being overwhelmed (which can easily happen at this point) here is a suggestion that will give you a place to start. Most developmental skill lists are divided into several major areas such as the following:
Sit down and write these areas on a sheet of paper. Check your skill checklist (using a list such as the Brigance Inventory) to see where your child is developmentally and then write down one obtainable goal for each area. (Later you can add more skills to each area if desired.) Jot down some activities by which that goal will be obtained. Ask others teaching preschoolers for ideas of activities that will give practice of the skills. Check on some preschool resources. Then write Sunday-Saturday on another sheet of paper. Divide each day into hourly time blocks. Block off times that cannot be used, such as meal times and certain subjects for the other children. Next, write in the activities that you want to teach your special child. Your plan does not need to be detailed. (Note: You may never actually follow this timed schedule, but if you do not plan then nothing will get done.) Many teaching times will come during such times as chore time to give practice sorting toys and meal times to work on the words "please" and "thank you." Because children with Downs do not learn very fast, the same plans may suit you for several weeks before you need to change them. The following resources may help you in reaching your goals at this stage.
- General readiness skills
- Speech and Language skills
- Gross Motor skills
- Fine Motor skills
- Self-Help Skills
- Reading readiness skills
- Math readiness skills
- Social skills
- Brigance Inventory of Early Development-Revised (Birth-Age 7)
This diagnostic manual remains a good check list for this level. (See the Early Intervention pamphlet for details about this resource.)
1510 E Spencer Lk Rd
Shelton, WA 98584
- Preschool Workbook Set $8.00
If your child's fine motor abilities are ready for workbooks and he likes workbooks, this set is a possibility. This 4-book set was designed for children of normal development ages 3-4 (perhaps better used with Down syndrome children 4-6). These workbooks were developed by an Amish family. They are simple black and white pages. It is advised not to work on the books from front to back of each cover, but find pages that would hold interest for your child and also be on his skill level. Change directions if needed to adapt to your child's needs. If things to be colored are too much, you also can color with your child. This way you are modeling how coloring is done. With any workbook that cannot be copied, you can place the pages in a clear vinyl envelope purchased from a office supply store. This will create a wipe off activity that can be practiced again and again using a water-based pen such as a Visa pen or wipe-off crayons.
Rod & Staff
PO Box 3, Hwy. 172
Crockett, Kentucky 41413-0003
- Preschool Workbook Set
About $15.00 for the set (Timberdoodle also carries this set of workbooks).
Rod and Staff is a Mennonite publication. The preschool workbooks are black and white and designed for normally developing children 4-5 (perhaps better used with Down syndrome children ages 5-7). There are five workbooks in the series. (See above for adapting workbook pages.)
- Counting With Numbers: Numbers 1-10. Look at the number formation to be sure this is the way you want your child to be taught. Once taught one way, it will be nearly impossible to reteach another way of writing the numbers.
- Do It Carefully: Shapes, letter sounds, and a few words are introduced. Manuscript letter formation is taught. Look at the letter formation to be sure this is the way you want your child to be taught. (See the Handwriting pamphlet for additional information on handwriting)
- Everywhere We Go: Colors, shapes, consonant sounds, and numbers 1-10.
- Finding the Answers: This book develops thinking skills through hearing rhymes, identifying sequence, understanding sentence meaning, making comparisons and associations. This book may have some advanced skills that may be difficult for some children with Down syndrome such as the rhyming.
See your local teacher-supply store
- Chartlets @ $1.75 each. They are cardstock and can be cut into cards for matching activities. A few are named here.
- Colors chartlet
- Upper and Lowercase Letters chartlet
- Mittens for Matching chartlet
Two preschool catalogues from Frank Schaffer are Fearon and Totline. Totline has a series, My First Coloring Book Series. This series has all black backgrounds. There are no lines to cross. The pictures are simple and appropriate for special needs children with fine motor difficulties.
See your local teacher-supply store or call 1-800-421-5565 for a catalogue
This company has many preschool activities.
PO Box 777
Grand Haven, MI 49417
While I do not know of anyone using their reading curriculum for a child with Down syndrome, there are two workbooks that have some value because of their simplicity.
1-877-A BEKA BOOK
(Books above are designed for 2-3 year olds but may be appropriate for a 3 or 5-year-old child with Down syndrome beginning numbers.)
- Learning Numbers with Button Bear (Numbers 1-10)
- Numbers and Skills with Button Bear (Numbers 1-15)
Thresholds for Threes: Activity Packet
This packet is full of a variety of activities. It includes fun activities for colors, letters, numbers, fine motor activities such as lacing, and seasonal and holiday activities.
Bob Jones University Press
"School" is Every Day Living
I hope that this pamphlet will give you a starting place and help you plan as you raise the special gift that God has given to you.
Revised: November 25, 2001.