Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PECS System

This message is in response to Katie's question about PECS. I just thought I'd type it out here instead of as a comment so I could get some working links to follow.

PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. It is used a lot when working with nonverbal autistic children, but it can be helpful and successful with any nonverbal child. Here is a site that will give you a brief idea of how the system works.

Here is a video of how one mom is teaching her son to use the PECS system. In this clip they are working on vocabulary, so in the future he knows how to ask for what he wants using pictures. There are a lot of other Youtube videos out there, too. You can make them as simple or complex as you want and as cheap or expensive as you want. There are devices out now that will actually speak for a child now, too. It is really cool (and expensive). It is like an electronic PECS book that the child carries on a strap, and when they select their pictures to make sentences, the device speaks the words. One of Mason's little buddies uses it--they are really awesome.

If you are interested at all in PECS, there is tons of information on the internet, training books, and PECS resources you can buy just by doing a google search. I can even show you a real simple form of PECS they use in Mason's classroom. I'm sure there are other moms lurking around here that have some useful knowledge too. Good luck!


tiptoe mama said...

we have used PECS with MK, as well as ASL. Her preschool does a lot with both. She's gotten pretty good at trying to use speech. --she kind of talks, and we are starting to understand more -- but pecs has really come in handy. Just now, I asked her, "Do you want to watch Spongebob,(held out my left hand) or Little Bill?" (held out my right hand) She thought for a second then touched my left hand to choose Sponge Bob. At Disneyland, we were able to use that system to find out that she was scared to go on a ride, but that she would go on it if Daddy, not Mommy would hold her. PECS is great.

We had a 'team' from early intervention come 'test' MK to see if PECS would work for her, but I'm sure you could easily do it on your own too. If you want me to tell you how we made our book, let me know.

Katie said...

I was pretty sure that is what it was. We have started to try this a little bit but I don't know if he's getting it. Maybe if we worked harder...They have told me his language skills are at about a 12 month olds level. I have faith that if we continue he will get it.

Happy in Holland said...

Just keep trying. He is still young, so don't give up. He'll get it.

Luke and Erin said...

We are just learning ASL right now, but that looks like it would be AWESOME for Bree! Thanks for the tips!

Lori said...

Hey, I just found this blog through Happy in Holland. PECS is an awesome system. My daughter never really caught on, she had severe hearing loss (which they didn't know when they were trying to get her to do PECS) so ASL seemed to work better for her. But once her ASL took off she was able to combine ASL with the PECS system and does great. She's almost 6 now and can talk just fine but she'll still look for pictures to explain things she can't quite verbalize. :) Thanks for the invite! This site is going to be awesome!