It has been argued that children with intellectual disability associated with Down syndrome (DS) use a primarily visual strategy in learning to read rather than an auditory-phonological strategy. If so, they might benefit more from a whole-word approach to reading instruction (learning names associated with whole written words) rather than a “phonic” approach (learning how to “sound words out” letter-by-letter). By contrast, the latter approach is widely preferred for children without disability, partly because it provides them with more independence in the reading situation. The question is whether use of such different instructional techniques for children with and without DS is justified. This research provides evidence relevant to this question by examining data from a single case study of reading intervention for a child with DS. MW, who was 12 years old when intervention commenced, could read aloud only 11 words from a specially compiled list of 80 regular, monosyllabic stimuli (fell, tin). After an 8-week intervention focusing on phonological awareness and letter-sound knowledge, MW’s reading score improved significantly to 50 out of 80. I conclude that a phonic approach to reading instruction can be highly effective for children with DS, as it is for children with typical cognitive development.