This is the third installment of the Down Syndrome Awareness posts. If you missed the last post, click here to catch up.
Some people think that a person who has Down Syndrome cannot learn, but that is not true. When we received our daughter’s diagnosis, her pediatrician, said, “Don’t expect a rocket scientist.”
I will always remember what that physician said. I thought it was a rude and insensitive statement to make to new parents who didn’t know what to expect.
I don’t know any parent who expects a rocket scientist, if it happens, great, but if it doesn’t things are still great. Needless to say, I found another doctor for my daughter and I never looked back.
“Expect the worse, I think not!”
Teaching my daughter has not been easy. I have experience in teaching and tutoring, however, I have to take a different approach when teaching my daughter, because she learns differently.
It is a challenge, because her learning style is different, but it doesn’t mean that she cannot learn. The way material is presented has to be presented to suit her learning style.
The Visual Learner
Most people with Down Syndrome are visual learners. A visual learner is one who learns best by seeing the information.
This doesn’t mean that they cannot learn by listening (auditory), but that they are very strong visual learners. I wish I was a strong visual learner, but I am not.
Mom the Teacher
I am teaching my daughter the big three: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Each subject is a challenge, because I have to present the information to suit her learning style.
My husband and I would go over colors and in the book that we used, there are pictures and the words of the pictures. I don’t know how long we did this, but sometimes when we would review with our daughter she would not say anything, but she paid attention. This was frustrating, but we continued.
On this week, I had a word on a card, minus the picture, that was lying on the floor and my daughter picked up the card and said the word. I was shocked, because there was no picture associated with the word (strawberry), only the flash card.
My daughter showed me that she is listening and paying attention, even when I don’t think she is. She’s one of those children who acts like she doesn’t want to do anything, but knows more than you think.
I share this story with you to let you know that people with Down Syndrome are very capable learning.
Don’t assume that just because a person has an extra chromosome and that they are a little different, that they will never be able to learn. We must meet them where they are so that they can succeed.
I never expected a rocket scientist, but in my eyes, my daughter is my little rocket scientist and no body can tell me other wise.
We can learn, we just do it differently!