My favorite part of this article from the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan are the charts that list specific learning styles and tips for teaching to those styles. Beyond subjects, goals and communication, there's a chart that shows teachers how to teach to students' strengths. Instead of getting caught up in identifying weaknesses, I think it's great the way this article is positively focused on what our students CAN do and how we can target weaknesses through teaching to strengths.
This is a "tip of the iceberg" resource for teachers provided by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. I like the format of this document and the way it presents information about factors that can influence a student's educational success in an easy to read format. Topics covered include medical concerns, communication difficulties, sensory/motor difficulties and socialization. The cognitive challenges page lists many useful and proactive teaching strategies to teach concepts and routines.
The Down Syndrome Association of greater St. Louis offers this overview on health concerns that may affect learning, how children with Down syndrome learn, curriculum adaptation, communication, gross and fine motor skills, and even a little note about hugs and their age appropriateness. As a secondary special needs teacher, I think that age appropriate physical contact is an important topic, so I'm happy to see it addressed. It's essential that our students learn social boundaries.
This instructional video is offered by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation of Canada. It outlines strategies, shows strategies in practice, and it offers suggestions on how to build your student's confidence about learning how to read by setting a student up for success from the beginning. This foundation also offers other videos on YouTube, all about 30 minutes long, on Developing Phonics Skills and Reading Fluency, Memory, Phonological Awareness and Beginning Phonics.
Special Education Support Service lists some general strategies for working with students with Down syndrome in the classroom, but what's really useful are the 10 free downloads at the bottom of the page. If you're a teacher who would like to learn a few strategies on teaching the acquisition of basic math skills, acquisition of sight words, promoting oral language, and so on, then you may find this useful.
I find this pamphlet, put together by The Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, useful when meeting with teachers who share students in my room. It includes 10 tips each for educating students with Down syndrome, facilitating communication, facilitating social inclusion, including students in general education classes and adapting curriculum. It's an efficient way to disseminate useful information to teachers who may not have a lot of experience working with students with Down syndrome.
About Education offers an article that lists best practices for teaching in inclusion, but even if your students aren't in inclusion, there are good suggestions on how to handle behavior challenges. I like the way this article gives advice focused on good communication and respect between teachers and students, boosted self-esteem and positive reinforcement. If your student is in inclusion, you'll be interested in the classroom checklists (accommodations, modifications and interventions).
Inform ED is a website for teachers who want to educate themselves about this disability and teaching strategies. I like how it addresses myths and truths of Down syndrome. I particularly like the area that addresses "Unique Considerations." Here, topics such as stubbornness and attention are discussed, and the classroom strategies they suggest help teachers to better understand their students. It gives examples of how a teacher's flexibility can cancel out a student's stubbornness.