My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Question: Can Sarah Read?

by Joyce: We had a comment from a reader on our last post asking if Sarah can read when I write about her. Excellent question. The quick answer is no. Sarah's reading ability is mostly related to picture content. She can sight read about 250 words, but not in a comprehensive manner. As an example, if the sentence was: Sarah is going to the pool to go swimming and then read a book. She would be able to pick out these words that she knows: Sarah, is, to, pool, swimming, read, a, book. But she would most likely not be able to look at that sentence and know to go put her bathing suit on and grab a book to read.

If you look closely at the book she took to the pool the other day, it is a Full House book - (kudos to Adelaide for being correct in her observation) If you have been following us for a while you know that Sarah has been obsessed, and I mean obsessed, with the Olsen Twins for years. She has every single movie and tv series that has ever been produced by, with or for them. The series of books she has, closely follows the movies. So when she is "reading," she is really recalling the scenes from these shows. The other reason she likes this set of books is because of the pictures in the middle of the book.
During her schooling, reading was of course a major component of her IEP. By the beginning of third grade she had mastered a good chunk of the Edmark Reading program. And then she got really sick and missed 100 days of school, much of that time in the hospital. When she returned to the classroom at the end of fourth grade, she had lost much of the word recall. In hindsight, we probably should have asked for a teacher to come into the hospital to help everyday. She never really got back up to speed. Finally by eighth grade, we decided to focus strictly on the Edmark Functional word program. Those are the words she would likely encounter in her environment. Road signs, restroom signs, bus signs, logo identification etc.
Hope that helps clarify the reading. I always try to emphasis that each kiddo is different. So do not assume your child will follow Sarah's path.
About that post specifically. Sarah goes to her blog all the time on her own. She can navigate her way around her laptop better than I can. Sometimes she will ask me what a post says if I have written it. If there is a picture though, she will just make up her own story. The post before had a picture of the weather, so she assumed it was about the storm that night. If there is a video she will just watch it over and over and gather her own thoughts. If she specificcally asks me about something though, I never lie to her. I just try to restate the content at her level.
I did a post last year about how we blog, that might be helpful too. You can review it HERE.
P.S. If you look closely at the picture above, Sarah is trying to blow her hair out of her face rather than use her hands to move it. So Sarah. I love when I catch her in real action - those are the best memories.


Becca said...

Wow, what a fabulous question, and an even more fabulous answer. Thank you for that, Joyce. And thanks for posting your original response to how the two of you blog!

AZ Chapman said...

thanks I have one then how does sarah read other peoples blogs

Heather said...

As always Joyce, thank you for sharing your sweet Sarah.I never tire of reading and hearing about your life together,as well as the rest of your beautiful family.

*Sarah blowing her hair reminded me of the video I just posted of Zoey.Her hair was in her face and I asked her to brush it out of her face and her ding it,something about it,was just so cute.

Adelaide Dupont said...

Back to first principles.

Joyce, you never lie to Sarah.

Sight reading is indeed a good principle.

I know that Edmark belongs to the Houghton Mifflin educational/literary corporate publisher.

(Has some great educational programs which work with visual strengths and indeed key words. Or one of the alternative literacies known as visuacy).

Glad to know the observation was correct. The Full House books do have a distinct look.

And the scenes from the TV and movies are especially memorable. Especially when there is a character focus to pull it together.

What a great "individual pair" Mary Kate and Ashley have been. About the time Sarah was a teenager, I became more familiar with the So Little Time in the school and local libraries.

And a lot of sentence structure in English is redundant.

My own favourite Olsen movies were probably How the West was fun and It takes two. The latter has some really great summer camp scenes.

jjpsmommy07 said...

Thank you for sharing that great piece of information about Sarah.

Karen said...

One of the things I love most about this blog is the honesty. You state facts and don't sugar coat. You also find the joy in everything. Real life. Real life outcomes and scenarios. Reality presented to those of us watching you, wondering what our future will be. Thank you.

Lisa said...

oh how i remember those summer days of mary kate and ashley videos.....that and the dance recitals where we watched stacy over and over again!!

Sally said...

Joyce: My son Andy is 22 and has every Goosebumps book ever written! No, he can't read them but he likes the pictures on the covers and he also has all the movies. Like Sarah, when he is "reading" one of the books he is repeating the movie episode. I just think it's cool that he sought out all the books and movies and knew which ones he already had without a list! I used to be sad about all the stories he would miss because of his reading "inability" but so many good stories have been made into movies so he gets them there. He probably knows as many words as Sarah and he surprises me sometimes with what he can read. Sarah is a sweety!