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PECS Communication is an alternate way of communication. Designed for people with communication disorders. Read along with our Speech Therapist on the 6 phases of development and the differences between AAC and PECS.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an alternate way of communication that was originally designed for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These individuals generally couldn’t communicate using words, so they used picture cards for communication instead.
PECS relies on picture cards for communication, in order for individuals with a variety of communication disorders. It allows these individuals to initiate their ideas and intention interactively through visuals.
The PECS program starts by having the child taught to make their request by handing a picture that represents an item that they want by an adult who is holding that object. Exchanging the picture for the item. PECS communication has six phases of development, and individuals master each phase and continue into the next phase at different rates!
There are 6 stages of development for PECS from initiating through picture exchange to verbalising responses!
The phases include the following:
While originally developed for individuals who are nonverbal with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Pecs autism it has evolved into a tool for other individuals who are having difficulty communicating verbally. This includes individuals with a variety of cognitive, physical and communication challenges,
PECS has reached many people of all ages and challenges, including adults with cognitive impairment as well as a toddler with no cognitive impairments.
It is important to remember that individuals who use the PECS system need to be able to have the ability to understand and use language, have a level of mobility, and have sufficient fine motor skills needed to grasp the pictures. If any of these are compromised, it can get in the way of an individual being able to use them to support their communication skills.
AAC (Alternative Assistive Communication)is just any alternative way of communicating other than speaking. Thai includes lower-tech devices such as PECS communication and more high-tech devices such as tech generating devices for communicating (ie.tablet apps).
PECS is one form of alternative/assistive communication dedicated to helping individuals who aren’t speaking learn how to communicate meaningfully; from using visuals to initiate to formulating sentences to convey larger ideas.
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