Teddie had another meeting with his speech therapist who said that he can move on to phase 3 of PECs, although in my opinion, he should now be working at more of a phase 4 level.
There are six phases of PECS:
- Phase One- The Physical Exchange: Upon seeing a “highly preferred” item, the student will pick up a picture of the item, reach toward the trainer, and release the picture into the trainer’s hand.
- Phase Two- Expanding Spontaneity: The student goes to his/her communication board, pulls the picture off, goes to the adult, and releases the picture into the adult’s hand.
- Phase Three- Picture Discrimination: The student will request desired items by going to a communication board, selecting the appropriate picture from an array, going to a communication partner and giving the picture.
- Phase Four- Sentence Structure: The student requests present and non-present items using a multi-word phrase by going to the book, picking up a picture of “I want,” putting it on a sentence strip, picking out the picture of what is wanted, putting it on the sentence strip, removing the strip from the communication board, approaching the communicative partner, and giving the sentence strip to him/her.
- Phase Five- Responding to “What do you want?” The student can spontaneously request a variety of items and can answer the question, “What do you want?”
- Phase Six- Responsive and Spontaneous Commenting: The student appropriately answers “What do you want?” “What do you see?” “What do you have?” and similar questions.
We have everything he needs in terms of pictures of pecs, but we felt it needed to be more in line with what he has at home and at preschool. Again, I feel that everything we are currently doing is working, but I take everything on board and was told that we needed a more mobile PECs board, so I ordered another board and added an “I want” and a “please” on the front.
As a reminder, PECs is not be used in place of speech, instead, it works longside it. It is however, becoming increasingly difficult to use them correctly, as Teddie tends to use certain words instead of getting a picture to form a senstance.
During snack time at preschool, the snack provided is laid out with a card stating how much the children can take of each snack. It has been suggested that from now on Teddie will not just have to read what is on the card, but that he will have to take his PECS cards and use them to ask for what he wants. I can understand that it is important for him to do this, but if the snack says “help yourself”, it can be difficult to use PECS if there is no one there to supervise him, which can cause unnecessary stress.
This week we scored a victory. I managed to send Teddie to preschool without a thick jumper. It was really warm outside and incredibly warm at school, but Teddie still insisted on wearing his school jumper!
The school jumper is part of his uniform, so in Teddie’s eyes, it must be worn. To distract Teddie, I gave him a small ice cube and we went without it.