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Keywords:

  • reading;
  • literacy;
  • parental perspectives;
  • Down syndrome

Although children with Down syndrome (DS) can learn to read, few studies have explored parental perspectives on the reading development of this group of children. This article, written by Leila Ricci and Anna Osipova, from California State University, explores visions and expectations regarding reading held by parents of children with Down syndrome in the US. Parents of 50 children with DS (aged three to 13 years) completed a survey about their children's interest in reading and responded to open-ended questions inquiring about their views on their children's reading development. A majority of parents in this study described their children's positive attitude toward reading, stated their reading-related goals for their children, defined their children's relative strengths in reading, and shared strategies used in the home to promote literacy in this population. Parents pay close attention to and have high expectations for their children's reading achievement, and thereby would benefit from partnerships with informed educators willing and capable of teaching reading to children with DS.