April 2016 – This month all LP levels focus on the measurement of time. Understanding “time” is critical to independence. As adults, we incorporate concepts of time into the background of our lives, using it to guide us through our days as we move from activity to activity, scheduling appointments and organizing our weeks, months and years. Yet learning about some aspects of “time” can be challenging for learners with Down syndrome who tend to be concrete thinkers. Time is a more abstract type of measurement than weight or length, you feel the passage of time rather than see it. Further, measurements of time do not follow a logical pattern (e.g., 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks in a year, etc.) and learning it requires memorization of many terms (e.g., names of the days of the weeks, months of the year, seasons etc.). The key for learners with Down syndrome, as with many concepts, will be presenting information in smaller steps, in a highly visual manner with structured guidance and more opportunities for practice. Working on time concepts often falls on parents, since school focus slows down after 3rd grade, far before many of our learners are ready for the more difficult aspects of telling time on a clock (e.g., elapsed time) or calendar. Let us know if you need any additional support this month!