Hi, I’m Viky, Matei’s mom. Matei is 14 years old and has Down syndrome. We are Romanians, and moved to the UK 8 years ago (2015). Matei didn’t understand, or have any contact with, English before our relocation.
He attended a special school, in the UK, for 10 months, until I withdrew him from it (2016). I started homeschooling him, following a neurodevelopmental program for 2.7 years. We left that program, and in 2019 we discovered So Happy To Learn.
In So Happy To Learn, everything came so naturally and it just ‘clicked’. He started to read, and to have a “voice”. Before SHTL, we used fast flash cards, and he was recognizing around 50–100 words, but, he wasn’t able to read a sentence with these words. He wasn’t able to give a proper answer to a yes or no question, nor to understand the meaning of a yes or no question. He had trouble with any questions, and still does, but we are on the right track.
Now, he has started to answer questions spontaneously, can express what he is feeling, is starting to develop his writing and drawing, math questions make sense for him, he can read, spell, and build his own sentences with a word (this is huge!). His comprehension of what he is reading is developing and so much more!
The video is an old one, a few months after we started SHTL.
Before SHTL I was convinced that Matei has apraxia of speech. Now, I’m very doubtful of it, because his speech / pronunciation is good, when he is reading. He can be understood by others around him.
In spontaneous speech, without the reading support, he is very difficult to understand. Actually, in his maternal language, Romanian, it’s difficult to understand him. Only myself and, sometimes, his father can understand him.
Matei knows English because of SHTL and can make himself understood because of SHTL.
His BEST speech is SHTL!
We are just blessed to have So Happy to Learn in our lives!