March 17th, 2010- Nathan was introduced to Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) at school and has responded quite well to it.
PECS is a great tool for helping non-verbal children communicate without words. PECS allows Nathan to make choices and communicate his needs by using pictures of desired objects (such as toys).
Here's how it works:
When Nathan wants an item, he gives the picture to his School Teacher or School Aid. The Teacher then hands Nathan the toy; this reinforces communication.
I'm so excited that this form of communication was introduced to Nathan and that he is picking it up as quickly as he is.
Here are some statements from his school over the past few weeks:
March 17th- Introduction to PECS, Nathan did great!
March 18th- Nathan worked on PECS again this morning, he was able to do it independently after 2 times.
March 19th - Nathan had another good day! We worked on PECS again today and he was a superstar!
March 25th - Nathan had a pretty good morning. He was a little fussy about doing PECS but we worked through it and got it done.
March 26th - Nathan had a good morning we worked on PECS and he was able to travel around 3 feet across the room to give me the card!!!
March 31 - Nathan had another good morning. We did some PECS work and it went really well.
April 12 - Nathan was looking at friend's PECS book (who had stolen a toy he was playing with). He found the card for the stolen toy and brought it to his friend. WOW!!!
April 15 - I am now going to be sitting with Nathan at lunch and doing PECS. We are doing PECS with one of his peers as you need two people for the first phase.
April 19- Nathan had a rough start to the morning, he was quite grumpy and was really into throwing things. He did snap out of it for a bit and we got some really good PECS work done
April 21- Nathan seemed a lot happier today! We have been working on PECS all week and we now have 4 highly preferred items that we are using. Nathan is very close to mastering Phase 1! We will most likely start Phase 2 next week. Phase 2 is called " DISTANCE and PERSISTENCE" which means Nathan will travel across the room to exchange the picture for what he wants. Oh! and Nathan is also exchanging pictures with his peers which is very cool!
I can't tell you how excited I am about this. Coming to terms with the very real possibility of having a non-verbal child was difficult. For the past two years I persisted and hoped that Nathan would grasp signing but to no avail.
In one month Nathan has progressed so much with PECS, it's absolutely unbelievable- I have to pinch myself. Obviously, this is Nathan's preferred method of communication. It's what works for him. I'm so thankful that Nathan is at this school. It's been great for him and the tools they are giving him are helping him in so many more ways than I ever thought possible.