The Picture Exchange Communication System® / PECS® is an alternative communication system developed to support autistic students with communication difficulties. Find out what PECS is and how you can use it to support your autistic child.
Using PECS has given my children a voice, they are able to make choices and request the things they need. These are vital skills that make a huge difference, if you can express your needs it avoids so much frustration and stress.
My six year old is non-verbal and has been using PECS for about four years now. However it is not just for children with no speech. My four year old has lots of language but it is not social or direct communication, we are using PECS to support his functional communication.
You can get a lot of information on PECS from their website – Pyramid Education Consultants UK. I would really recommend going on the official PECS training course I found it incredibly helpful.
I have a number of posts that relate to how we have implemented PECS in the home along with reviews of products from PECS UK.
What are the six phases of PECS?
The Picture Exchange Communication System has six phases starting with initial exchange of PECS cards. Each stage teaches specific communication skills. If you are new to PECS read my post on phase 1 first.
- PECS Phase 1 Communicate / Exchange
- PECS Phase 2 Distance and Persistence
- PECS Phase 3 Picture Discrimination
- PECS Phase 4 Sentence Structure
- PECS Phase 5 Responding to “what do you want”
- PECS Phase 6 Commenting
The first thing you need when implementing PECS is motivating items. I found this really hard with my eldest at first, so for anyone struggling like I was here is a list of motivating things for young children on the spectrum may be helpful. You may also find my TV choice board / cards helpful.
PECS product reviews
I have reviewed some PECS UK products that you may find helpful for PECS users –
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