Dana Halle has made HUGE contributions to the Down Syndrome community over the years. She co-founded the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County many years back and more recently, she developed ‘The Learning Program’ which is accelerating education for people with Down Syndrome across the country.
The Learning Program complements traditional education by adding teaching techniques designed to work best for folks with Down Syndrome. It uses current research to maximize learning in both literacy and math. DSFOC started this program in Orange County, California, but they have shared it with other organizations and now serve families across the USA. The have also made the curriculum materials available for free (along with the teaching techniques) available on their website.
We also talked to Dana about her wonderful family and how she ‘got involved’. We share an ‘aint seen nothing yet’ moment when we all talk about how the outlook for children with Down Syndrome is better than it ever has been! Good times!
She also shared her favorite apps with us. Hard to pick of course, but she mentioned:
Mark mentioned medical research when he shouldn’t have and that led to a serious warning: Developmental research and medical research are completely different!
We have talked about research into pharmaceuticals before and our hopes remain high. However, such a drug would never make teaching unnecessary! A drug might improve the function of the brain, but you still need to fill it up! Better teaching techniques do that. And the better we teach them, the more they will learn.
No story of the week from Rick and it is all Mark’s fault! We do have moments though and a great closing song. Give us a listen!