PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) is a communication tool in which pictures / symbols are exchanged for desired objects or experiences in order to motivate students to communicate.
Trained staff work with students to develop skill in this approach using the student’s own PECS book (a folder with detachable Velcro symbols) to initiate requests, recognise an increasing vocabulary of symbols and later in the programme respond to questions.
At Woodlands Meed PECS is used with children and young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and other communication difficulties in order to teach intentional, functional communication and to allow users to communicate their wants and needs.
Students using PECS will have access to other communication methods in addition to PECS but will be supported to use this tool to communicate in different contexts and with a range of people. Our ambition for PECS-users is that they leave us equipped with a robust and effective communication tool that enriches their life and enhances their social interactions.
PECS becomes the user’s voice, and pupils should have access to the system at all times.
PECS can be used at home, school, and during community activities.
PECS books are made portable so that they can be used frequently in a range of settings.
PECS is a highly structured system and its effectiveness and efficacy is based on consistent use of the system. We would always want to share learning and progress, and support parents to use this approach in the home.
We have trained over 25 teachers and Intervention Assistants to use this approach and a further 50 Teaching Assistants have been trained in how to support this practice in the classroom and beyond.
Camilla Giacomelli-Pontin – our Communication Champion is the lead on this approach.