Teens and Young Adults: Down Syndrome
Bryan Perkins

Bio

Bryan went to public school through the 4th grade, but we have been homeschooling him since then. He is now 15. He had a really hard time with all the sensory stimulation there, but it took a long time to figure out what the problem was. He has been on NACD program for 2 1/2 years (since age 12) and has made remarkable progress.

Bryan has always loved to read, and since around age 8 has been able to read. However, his comprehension was poor, so reading for him was more of a game than it was about enjoying the content. His reading comprehension has improved several grade levels in the last few years, and now he enjoys and understands books like Harry Potter and Eragon. He is an avid reader. He really likes to read instruction manuals as well. So he loves putting thing together from written instructions.

He plays on a local homeschool basketball team with his peers. They have been very good to Bryan, and they work with him at his level so that he can have a particular "job" on the court during games, but they also challenge him to learn more about keeping up with the game overall.

Another area where we have noticed great strides is in his communication. He has always been verbal, but he had a lot of difficulty with expressing feelings and emotion, and even discomfort. Now he is able to talk about how he feels and why. Once at age 14 he came to me in the morning and said, "Mom, I had a bad dream." I asked him to tell me about it, and he was able to describe his dream in detail, as well as how the dream made him feel. The fact that he even thought to tell me he had a dream was big. He didn't normally volunteer a lot of information about what was going on inside. This is more the norm now.

Bryan is learning to play the piano, getting more confident at math (multiplying single digits, addition with carrying), loves having responsibility around the house, and has a great sense of humor. He has also proposed to numerous women and girls!

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