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    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    PECS Cheatsheets and Progress Monitoring

    Last year, one of my kiddos has a speech evaluation and it was determined that we should try to use PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) with him. I am not sure how many readers have used PECS in their classrooms but I find it to be very complicated! PECS training is only provided locally 1-2 times per year and it is expensive. There was no training available until after school was out therefore in order to get some information on the system, my paras and I used the OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence) Autism Internet Modules. The modules were very informative (I have used them for other topics as well and I really think they are a wonderful resource). In fact, they contained so much information that I started to worry about being able to remember all of the steps to this very complex system. To help my aides and I remember, I created cheatsheets (I only have Phases I and II...not really sure why?! It did not work for the particular student so maybe we gave up after Phase II). Additionally, PECS has some specific procedures for providing prompting and correcting incorrect responses which can also get a bit confusing so I have cheatsheets for these too! I really like the 4-Step Error Correction Procedure. I frequently use this throughout the day whenever my kids provide and incorrect response. 

    I also created progress monitoring sheets so that our tracking was consistent. This was especially important because as part of PECS you need to switch roles and therefore I was not always keeping the data nor was I even involved in the training on a particular day. PECS requires a certain degree of mastery of each step before allowing the student to progress in the system so we needed good data!

    I hope you find these resources helpful! Since we did not have much success with the system I did not get to use them for very long. I would love any feedback from educators who use PECS!


    December 2021 UPDATE: My PECS Cheatsheets have been one of the most popular products on my TPT store and I have been getting lots of requests for cheatsheets for the additional phases. I have finally created cheatsheets, step-by-step instructions, and progress monitoring sheets for Phases 3, 4, and Attributes. 

    • Phase 3:
      • Discriminate between desired symbol and distractor symbol
      • Discriminate between multiple reinforcing symbols
      • Find symbols in communication book and travel to communication partner
    • Phase 4:
      • Introduce sentence structure
      • Construct sentence
      • Get communication partner’s attention
      • Vocalize request
    • Attributes:
      • Construct sentence with attribute
      • Discriminate between preferred and nonpreferred attribute symbols when constructing sentence
      • Discriminate between multiple attribute symbols across multiple items
    Click on any of the images below to access this new product on my TPT store!


    Kimberly said...

    I couldn't open any of these. I am really interested in seeing them. Could you email them to me at Thank you for all your great ideas!!

    Allison Officer, M.S.Ed said...

    Sure Kimberly! Check your inbox :)! Thanks for reading!

    Pamela said...

    This is really nice! Thanks so much for sharing!!


    Bridybunch said...

    I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm a first grade teacher and mom of 4. My youngest son is 5 and has a diagnosis of Autism with severe language delay. He is essentially non-verbal and we are working with his Special Education teacher to get past screaming and squeeking and moving to communication. We have PECS cards for food choices at home but we want to move on to choice boards for activities and emotions. I also want to facilitate reading development and more vocabulary for him. Thomas will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. If he were in your classroom where would you begin and what would you recommend to me as the parent?
    Kim Bridy

    Unknown said...

    Do you have progress monitoring sheets for Phase 3?

    Teach Early Autism said...

    Has anyone used the VBMAPP with your son? It is what I use to determine where to start with verbal behavior for my students. It's an excellent assessment.

    Allison Officer, M.S.Ed said...

    I agree the VBMAPP is a great assessment! I used it for years. Now we use the ABLLS which is also good.

    PaleoABC's said...


    Thank you so much!!


    J. Drees said...

    These references for PECS are you have any others for Phases III, IV, and V???

    BNap said...

    My colleague and I often give PECS training to our parents. This is a really nice and thorough cheat sheet!!! Thanks for sharing!! :)

    Angela said...

    Thank you!! These are beyond perfect.

    Angela said...

    Thank you!! These are beyond perfect :)

    Unknown said...

    Thank you so much! These are terrific

    Ettina said...

    The Communication Matrix is another option, if you don't have an iPad.

    Unknown said...

    Hi I was wondering if you had anything like this for the phases such as 3 and 4 etc or I am having to do a case studies on someone I am teaching PECS and found referring back to these was alot easier and helpful than trying to read thru my big book

    Unknown said...

    Bless you for making these. I am proficient in PECS, but my staff is not. This helps a lot!!!!!

    Unknown said...

    Unfortunetly I wasnt able to open any of these....Im very interested in seeing them. Can you email them to me please?

    Thank you!!

    Unknown said...

    I am not able to view the PECs cheatsheets. Can you email them to me? Thank you.