The Learning Program

Learning Program Logo (2)The Learning Program™ was developed and implemented by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County in California in 2004, and its creator, Dana Halle.  The Learning Program is grounded in research and evidence-based approaches to teaching children with Down syndrome established by Down Syndrome Education International – world-recognized leaders in cognitive research for children with Down syndrome.  Over the past 15-20 years, researchers have made progress in understanding the effects of having Down syndrome (Ds) has on development – although there is still much more to learn to fully understand.  This research has identified a specific profile of developmental strengths and challenges which makes the learning needs of children with Ds unique from other children.

Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will open in August 2019 

Be part of our dynamic teaching team! To volunteer for the Learning Program contact Gina Mitchner, USOD Education Director.

Learning Program Highlights
  • USOD offers Learning Program classes for students and instructional workshops for parents and caregivers.
  • The Learning Program is a parent/child focused program that empowers parents to teach their children literacy, math and other skills using evidence-based materials and methods.
  • The program supplements formal literacy and math education through direct instruction to parents and children with customized materials and support.
  • Students attend a high-energy, developmentally-appropriate class led by a special educator.
  • Helps parents to be effective ‘first teachers’ of their children and prepares children for success in school by utilizing current research on best practices.
  • Administered by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County (DSFOC).
  • DSFOC has partnered with Down Syndrome Education International, Down Syndrome Education USA, educators, therapists and administrators to develop a program that uses effective teaching strategies and customized materials to support families in the educational process.
  • Designed to supplement traditional education with parents as first teachers and arms parents to serve as capable advocates for their children in the educational process.
  • Complements formal instruction in literacy and math, with occupational and speech therapy components.
  • Uses current research on best practices and effective teaching strategies adapted to the learning profile of children with Down syndrome (Ds).