The Learning Program


The Learning Program is an early literacy and numeracy program for children with Down syndrome. It was developed by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County in California in partnership with researchers, educators and therapists. It is an innovative program that delivers evidence-based educational support to children, parents and teachers. The program’s goal is to improve the overall development and academic success of all children with Down syndrome.


The DSC’s Learning Program meets one Saturday per month for 10 sessions and has 12 families in each class. During each hour and a half session, children receive small group instruction with a focus on literacy, numeracy, fine motor skills and language development from special educators and therapists. Simultaneously in a separate classroom, parents in the program receive instruction on a wide range of topics such as “Teaching Your Child to Read”, “Introduction to Math” and “Creating an Effective Learning Session”. At-home materials are distributed to allow parents to reinforce the skills learned during the session at home. Teachers and therapists affiliated with the program receive information about effective teaching strategies and cognitive, developmental and educational research.


Learning Program Levels Offered by the DSC


Level 1

$500 – includes 10 sessions and a set of books that your child will love. Partial scholarships available.
For children ages 4 to 6 and Pre-K  to 1st grade.*  Children should have an interest in letters and numbers and can engage in an activity for 5 to 10 minutes. The class focuses on beginner literacy skills and materials focus on learning sight words, eventually moving into common phrases and the acquisition of new words.


Level 2

$300 – includes 10 sessions. Partial scholarships available.
For children ages 6 to 8 and 1st grade to 3rd grade. Children should have a solid understanding of letters and a number of sight words and phrases, so that they can continue to build on those skills. They build on predictable text such as common phrases and sentences with familiar pattern and repetition. In Level 2 classes, children will develop beginning text-based comprehension skills such as understanding new vocabulary and recalling what they have just read.


*Levels may be appropriate for older children, please contact us to discuss placement for your child outside the age and grade guidelines.


Registration is now closed for the 2016 – 2017 school year.


2016 – 2017 Dates
Level 1 classes will be held from 9:00am – 10:30am and Level 2 classes will be held from 11am – 12:30pm.
September 10
October 8 
November 19 
December 10 
January 21 
February 11 
March 11 
April 8 
May 13 
June 10