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This is a form of autism language and communication. They are either coloured or plain back and white pictures, which are visually easy for your child to look at and understand. I started using PECS This year with my son as my speech therapist in the UK advised we try it and it was a success. Now I have a lot of PECS but my son only uses a few of them as he is only motivated by the food PECS and some of the game PECS.

I had a symbol for `sandwich’ and to try and get my son to understand what it meant I sat him down and got a fruit bun (closest thing I had to a sandwich at the time) and shown him the sign said sandwich and then shown him the fruit bun. I then got the `bubble’ symbol as he loves bubbles and I shown him the bubble symbol, said it then shown him the bubble container. I then laid the 2 PEC symbols on the table and asked him which one was for a sandwich and I showed him the fruit bun and he picked up the sandwich PEC. I eventually grew this list by adding the drink, balloon and biscuit PEC, after a couple hours of constant work I noticed he’s concentration was going elsewhere and packed up for the day. That night before dinnertime I heard Velcro ripping and he ran to the kitchen to give me the sandwich sign, I made the biggest fuss and gave him the sandwich he asked for. Now we use a lot more PEC symbols and he has even started to say some of the ones that he is more familiar with which where we want him to be at he’s stage of development.

I believe that if your child has limited or no language at all that PECS is an excellent tool to use to help them communicate not only with you but other people too. Start off with only one or two PECS don’t confuse them with too many and eventually add more in. Obviously I would start with symbols of things they are familiar with but once they get the hang of it start adding pictures that they wouldn’t normally use to broaden their autism communication book.

After constant use of your PECS book you will notice that they will start trying to say words and wean off the book a little, continue to encourage them to use it as it will still hep them even if they don’t think so.


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