Saturday, July 26, 2008

PECS - Hurray for Sam!

For those of you who don't know, PECS is a picture exchange communication system. Sam has a book filled with little laminated pictures of things he can request - cookie, chips, video, juice, etc. When he wants something he must give the adult the picture of the item he wants. He is still in the early phases of learning this communication method so basically when he wants something he just gives us any picture and then he tries to tell us what he wants or we figure it out somehow. Today he figured out which picture card represents "cookie"!!!! He sure had fun giving us that one. We are supposed to reward him quickly so that it motivates him to use the system so this boy had quite a few cookies!!! Sam actually already knows haw to ask for a cookie verbally but now there are many things he wants that he can't articulate clearly yet. Now that he "get" PECS, hopefully it will allow him to use it for things he can't say yet. I have always wanted to believe that my boy was very bright but he was hiding inside this PDD shell. Seeing him learn this so fast was fantastic.

I was reluctant for Sam to learn PECS at first because I thought it meant we were giving up on verbal language. I didn't want him using his speech therapy time at school doing PECS instead of talking but the idea is that is will facilitate language. FIrst you build communication skills and then use that interaction to build language. I see it working a little already as he is whining less and trying to use pictures and words. When he brings me a picture I make sure to say the words very clearly and he tried to repeat it. He can now sometimes say "juice" instead of "nn-ga" when he wants a drink.

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