I was more interested in Tessa learning to speak in complete sentences, like she knew a lot of words but she didn’t have that rhythm of speech and I could see the importance of learning to read or being able to read a lot more then she would pick up that rhythm of speech. What’s so good about it is you can make your own cards and you can just use it to sync in with what you need.

So Tess and I practice a lot with making sentences. I’ve noticed sometimes when we are out she doesn’t just point to something and say the word, she’ll more or less describe it or tell a story or put it in a few words together. Its developing into more of a conversation rather than just abstract words. I discovered she really loved recording what she ate so from that it was a really good writing experience, getting into practical writing.


Tessa wanted a job in a coffee shop, that’s her dream job, so writing is part of that and also reading so that’s been the motivation behind using the program. I found by Tessa writing everything that she eats not only does she learn how to spell the words but also what the words mean. What she has done too is she has kept the words she doesn’t know in a big bowl on her coffee table and she’ll pick them out if she can’t remember how to spell them, so she has become really self sufficient.

Well I got the idea from a seminar, there was a young man there who wanted to get his drivers licence and that was his motivation and I thought 'why didn’t I think of that before', Tessa’s motivation is that she loves cooking, loves food so I sort of thought if we started with reading recipes and the motivation once you can read and understand the recipe we can cook it and that’s how it started. It's the motivation that she needs, not only achieving her goals is important but also it’s a step towards her independence.


Tess is a 21 year old lady with Down syndrome who would like to work in a coffee shop. Whilst Tess is quite literate she uses ReadingOURway to expand her vocabulary, her sentence structures, her speech and communication and develop her skills as a writer.