The Heegaard splittings of the connected summands can be constructed as follows.
Note that I use our notation for reduciblity.
Then $P:=D_1 \cup D_2$ is a $2$-sphere intersecting $S$ in an essential simple closed curve
(the existence of such $2$-sphere is in fact equivalent to reducibility of a splitting).
Note that the only orientable connected $3$-manifolds with non-separating $2$-sphere have $S^2 \times S^1$ as a summand.
So it is no harm to assume that the $2$-sphere $P$ is separating. In this case the simple closed curve $\partial D_1 = \partial D_2$ is separating. Note that $S$ needs to be of genus at least two.
By removing a small open regular neighborhood $N(P)$ of $P$ in $M$, each handlebody $V_i$ get cut into two handlebodies of lower genus.
The two components of $M \setminus N(P)$ can be written as unions of these handlebodies with lower genus. Both components have a $2$-sphere as a boundary,
which corresponds to non-identified disks in the boundary of the handlebodies.
Each of these spherical boundaries can be capped by a $3$-ball, which gives two closed $3$-manifolds $M_1$ and $M_2$ with $M = M_1 \# M_2$.
The hemispheres of these $3$-balls cap the non-identified disks in the boundary of the handlebodies. This has the same effect as gluing the non-identified disks together.
Thus, we obtain Heegaard splittings of $M_1$ and $M_2$, which have lower genera than the splitting of $M$.
In particular, if one of the summands is $S^3$, then we obtain a lower genus splitting of $M$ from the original one.
Note that we can also do the converse, i.e. we can construct a Heegaard splitting of $M_1 \# M_2$ from Heegaard splittings of $M_1$ and $M_2$. As a consequence, it suffices to study Heegaard splittings of irreduiclbe $3$-manifolds.