As a former teacher, I know the importance of reading.
As children with ds tend to have great sight word memory the reading specialists suggest teaching children with down syndrome to sight read before you teach them the alphabet as the letters and sounds probably won't have as much meaning to them.
It would be my kids who do it backwards (per the specialists).
Alayna has known her letters and sounds for a long time (not because of anything special I did but rather because she wanted to learn them) and Dariya is quickly picking them all up because she knows her sister already knows them.
Truthfully, Alayna memorized her letters exactly the same way Aidan memorized his. They played with those magnetic letters on the fridge or foam ones in the bathtub and would make up things for each letter. For example, A is for Alayna, D is for Dariya, P is for Pop Pop etc. The ones Aidan made up were all around characters from Dora the Explorer as he loved that show when he was little. D is for Dora, B is for Boots etc.
Alayna has been able to sight read words including our names since last spring. So I wrongly assumed she would just take off and by now she would be reading novels. Well ok not really novels but, you know what I mean.
However, she hasn't been too interested in continuing working on learning sight words so I dropped it for a while.
After the reading conference I attended at the end of January I have tried to make a conscious effort to work on reading a few minutes each day with the girls.
Thankfully they both have been super excited about it and are requesting these books daily.
Here is a couple clips of her in action. She had this book memorized after the first couple times she read it and has now transferred the words to other books and is so excited when she sees a sight word she knows in one of our reading books or in the real world.
Praying that both girls have a love for reading, like their big brother the book worm!