PECS, or Picture Exchange Communication System is a therapy based program used by professionals dealing in autism spectrum disorders, such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers and even parents and teachers. It is designed to provide a way for people with autism to communicate without speaking, or the need for using words.
Through use of a series of cards consisting pictures or symbols representing items or objects, tasks or actions, enabling children to communicate how they are feeling or what they need, as well as aiding with establishing routines and creating social stories to help children cope with social situations.
It is recommended parents (and others) complete a training course in PECS and to work with children on a daily basis with the system to ensure maximum benefit.
Further information regarding the system, how it works and the basis behind it, as well as where you can access training courses in Australia can be found at:
http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/pecs_th.html - also provides a list of all therapies and services for ASD in Australia, as well as additional, useful resources)
http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/catalogue/pecs-the-picture-exchange-communication-system-books-and-resources - provides links and access to the PECS manual and PECS related products and tools and other useful resources
http://www.autismawareness.com.au/therapy-based-interventions/ - lists a variety of interventions and therapies available to children with ASD, including the use of combined therapies
http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/resources/autism-what-picture-exchange-communication-system-or-pecs-223321 - also provides an online community, resources and events, and support
http://www.autismspectrum.org.au/a2i1i1l445l487/welcome.htm - offers information, events, resources, access to tools and materials as well as an online community and support
http://www.pecsaustralia.com - Pyramid Education Consultants of Australia who conduct training courses and workshops for those interested in the PECS system
Next week we will have a look at some of the PECS cards available, especially those that are free.