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 between 7-12 families in each class. During each 90 minute 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.


Registration for the 2018-2019 school year is closed.


Learning Program Levels Offered by the DSC


We are offering 2 levels of the Learning Program for the 2018-2019 school year: Level 1 and Level 3.

Level 1

Level 1 is geared towards families with a child between the ages of 5-7 years old, or K to 1st grade. This class is best suited for families of students that are beginning to show an interest in letters and numbers and can attend to an activity for 5-10 minutes. Students should be able to understand about 50 words. This class focuses on building beginner literacy skills and materials are geared towards whole word (sight) acquisition though we quickly move-on to carrier phrases.
Level 1 includes:

  • Ten 90 minute classes for parents/caregivers and child
  • DSF Sight Word Readers – Sentences


Level 3

Level 3 is geared towards families with a child approximately between the ages of 7-10 years old, or 2nd to 4th grade, depending on skill level. Level 3 builds on skills acquired in Level 2 and students entering this class should have a solid foundation of Level 2 skills. Students should be comfortable working with predictable text as they will be introduced to sentences that have less repetition and reliance on pattern. Students will be developing within-the-text comprehension skills using strategies to understand sequence the main idea and details of what they have read.
Level 3 includes:

  • Ten 90 minute classes for parents/caregivers and child
  • RAZ readers and accompanying worksheets along with the matching word board/cards


* Age/grade range is merely a suggestion; placement depends on the developmental readiness of each child. Please contact the DSC at if you have any questions about readiness.


Learning Program 2018-2019 Times, Dates and Location

Level 1 – 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Level 3 – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM


September 8th
October 13th
November 17th
December 8th
January 12th
February 9th
March 9th
April 6th
May 11th
June 8th


All classes meet at the Fairview Christian School, 844 NE 78th St, Seattle, WA 98115. Click HERE for directions.