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
- 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!