I’ve been making some references to PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) lately, and I figured I’d give a good look at that! This website gives a fairly good look at the system, as well as a success story of the child using it. 1000 words? WOW. I can only hope!
What a PECS is is a collection of pictures, readily available to the child, that they can use to exchange for what they want. It’s used as an alternative communication method for non-verbal kids who don’t show a lot of aptitude for sign (like, say, Danny refusing to sign at all). The child can choose a picture out of the book and hand it to someone (a parent, a caregiver, a teacher), and after modeling the correct words for the item and giving a moment of wait time for the child to (hopefully) mimic, they get the goods. If Danny comes to me wielding his ‘milk’ card, he places it in my hand, I show it to him and say “milk!” and wait. Sometimes he echos “ilk!” and sometimes he doesn’t. Either way, I nod. “All right, milk!” And I get him some milk.
About…oh, not quite a week ago, we received our little binder from school. It’s a duplicate of what he uses in class, with a few different cards in it to mirror things he likes at home versus things he uses at school. It skips stuff like “fish toy” (since we don’t have one of those) but includes local favorites such as “iPod,” “Pop Tart,” and “Hex Bugs.” The beginning stages of using a PECS is to offer only one or two choices, so the child isn’t overwhelmed. Slowly, you build the field, and then (more…)