This blog lets you keep up with the W family. Our three boys are John who is 17 and very into sports, Noah who is 14 going on 21 and is trying to keep up with his big brother and little Ben, who is the sweetest little 8 year old, who happens to have Down syndrome.
I have been putting off this post for quite some time, because I have not been sure how to write it. Plus a few people that I have told have been a bit doubtful, so I wanted to include some video evidence. When we first discovered that Ben could sight read words over a year ago, we thought it might be a fluke. Randy was looking at some flash cards with Ben one night and accidentally dropped the cards. This particular set of cards has the words on one side and the picture on the other. As Randy was trying to sort the deck out, Ben was signing the word before he could flip the card over to the picture side. I had been out with the big boys and when we got home he said "look what Ben can do". Sure enough Ben correctly signed 80% of the words in that flash card set. At the time Ben was 32 months old. Ben now can sight read close to 200 words and signs more than 300. The above video shows him in action. He uses a combination of signing and speaking to help us understand, since it is often difficult to understand many of words.
You might be wondering how Ben learned to sight read. The funny part is that it was kind of by accident. If you want the details, go to the tab above called Ben Reading, or click here.
But what this whole experience has taught me is that there is no limit to what kids can achieve when they are motivated to do so. Those original flash cards, are what motivated Ben. Find what motivates your child and then work on it. You will be surprised at how fast they master the task. Set the bar high and they will rise up to meet it and exceed it. Recently we have started working on the sight words he will need for school and reading short sentences. It is slow going be he is making progress and building on his existing skills.