I love that PECS UK have created a parent pack. It is essentially a beginners pack for parents who are getting started with the Picture Exchange Communication System®. PECS UK have kindly gifted me a Parent Pack in exchange for this honest review. All words and opinions are my own.
I started using the Picture Exchange Communication System with my eldest when he was 2 and going through the process to get his autism diagnosis. My son is now 6 and still using PECS as is his brother aged 4. At the time I didn’t know what I needed and muddled through making bits as I went along. It would have been really helpful too have had a starter pack so I am excited to see what PECS have come up with.
PECS Parent Pack Contents
The Parent Pack includes:
- A standard size PECS Communication book
- Communication book strap
- Pics for PECS CD
- 1 roll of loop dots
- 100 laminator sheets
For anyone using PECS a communication book quickly becomes essential. I have reviewed the PECS Communication book on its own so you can get more details from that post about the book and book strap. Whilst I already have a Communication book this new one has arrived just in time. My youngest starts school this September and with Covid-19 precautions it is better for us to have one PECS communication book at school and another at home.
Pics for PECS CD
The Pics for PECS CD is a collection of over 3,200 images for use with PECS. It also includes picture grid templates so you can easily select and print the pictures you need at the right size. There is a selection of sizes, personally I use the 4cm cards but I have also used the larger sizes for schedules or visual aids.
Additionally the CD contains a picture dictionary and full image word list. I find the picture dictionary really helpful to browse when looking for new ideas. I noticed yesterday it includes a number of different types of dinosaur and this might make a good requesting exercise with my son who has lots of little dinosaur figures. There are also instructions for use included on the CD.
I find the CD really straightforward and easy to use, if you know what you are looking for you can easily search the folder too. I used Pics for PECS to select the images we needed and printed them out ready to make up my PECS cards.
The Pics for PECS CD has so many images you really have everything you need on there when you start out with communication. The only things I have added into our books are photos of specific people or places the rest all come from the CD.
Over the years I regularly have to replace cards or visuals I have made up and as the kids get older the pictures they need increases too. Having all the pictures ready in one place is so much easier than trying to find what you need each time you need a new picture. I also really love the image style, the use of colour makes them look great but they are also instantly recognisable.
Making up the PECS cards
I have another post full of tips on making up PECS cards and using laminators which might be helpful. The parent pack includes 100 laminator pockets which is brilliant. I set to work cutting out all my printed images and then putting them in the laminator sheets and though our laminator.
Then more cutting out before adding the loop dots which are also in the pack to the back of the cards. Loop dots are the same as velcro just a different brand, using the coins/dots is great as it means no cutting which gets a bit sticky. You simply add it straight to your card – easy and quick.
Ready to go in one evening
The best thing about the Parent Pack is it has everything you need to get the PECS Communication book set up full of PECS cards easily. In one evening I put together the Communication book and filled it with PECS cards. At the same time I added in some visuals I would need for a day out next week (rock pool below).
I think I took weeks of messing about with different ways to have PECS cards stored and making cards individually as they were needed when I first started. This Parent Pack really will help you get set up quickly and easily with ongoing access to your own image library with the Pics for PECS CD.
I would highly recommend the Parent pack to anyone just getting started with the Picture Exchange Communication System. I remember not being sure about spending money on PECS because what if my kids were just delayed and start to speak soon after we get started. Even if a child starts speaking they will still need support to increase their vocabulary and sentence structure. In addition you can use the images for visual aids or social stories so I am positive everyone would get value for money out of the Parent Pack.
The Pics for PECS CD alone is sold for £48 so the introductory price of £50 for the whole Parent Pack is brilliant value for money. In order to use the pack you will need access to a computer, printer and laminator. You can get cheap laminators from supermarkets or Amazon and trust me it will be well used.
Honestly this is a fantastic pack at a great price and I highly recommend it to parents starting out with PECS.
The Parent Pack can be purchased directly from PECS UK.
Are you a PECS user already or new to PECS? What do you think of the Parent Pack?