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  1. #1
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Default Velcro board

    I mentioned posting a picture of our PECS board. I purchased the fabric from discountschoolsupply.com and had it framed at Michaels during one of their 75% off frame sales.

    Sara

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    Okay, because I plan on doing this year, tell me how it works, how did you get Zachary interested in it. Has it been successful and what pictures do you have up there?

    Where do you keep it and do you have a couple of extra ones, especially one for travelling?

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    sara,
    call me crazy, but what is "PECS?" i like your board though. what do you use it for? games and such?

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    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    PECS is picture exchange communication.

    http://www.pecs.com/
    http://do2learn.com/index.htm
    http://trainland.tripod.com/pecs.htm

    Basically, the training shows you how to teach your child to use a picture card to communicate. This helps the child be less frustrated.
    Zachary can use this, but I haven't enforced it because his speech is progressing. I still use the board here at home, but it's primarily used now for storytelling. It's original use was for object identification.
    I do have a smaller travel version for PECS cards. I'll post a picture later. I made it during the training class.
    The links I provided tell about the system and also are linked to pictures you can print out. I printed mine out and had them laminated. There is software available, as well. (very expensive though) Fortunately, the school here has this software, so I am able to get whatever pictures I would want.
    I keep Zacharys board in his bedroom. I would encourage a smaller one on the fridge maybe too.
    As far as getting him interested, we used rewards. (candy)
    Here's an example:
    There are two objects on the table. One is a plastic horse and one is a puzzle. (also small candy for reward closeby) Zachary starts to reach for the horse. I say the word horse and in front of him are two pecs card one with a picture of the horse on it and another with the puzzle. He reaches for horse, so I give him the horse pecs card. I hold out my hand to encourage him to hand me the pecs card with the horse. A secondary person takes Zachary's hand and has him give me the picture of the horse, I then immediately give him the horse and the reward.
    ***(Tina, if you read this please correct me if I am wrong) ***
    The pictures consist of almost any daily item. Starting with foods, drinks, and toys is what I did.
    I may get more serious into this again. There are still many many things he wants to communicate.

    **edited to add** Also, Jerseygirl posted in the archive here about how they use PECS at her job. They use a smaller version on a ring. I think this is a great idea.

    Sara

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    More questions.

    - Can Zachary now point to a seperate picture on the boards. For instance, if you say "horse" can he point to a horse on the board.

    - Can you add more pictures or do you pretty much stay with the same pictures.

    - How long did it take Zachary to make a connection to the words you were saying and to the pictures.

    Candy won't work for us so I need to think of something I can use. Chips would work, but I wouldn't be able to keep them hot that long. Haven't a clue as to what to use here for a reward. Help me out someone.

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    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Let me say this, at 18 mos - 2 yrs of age, my son could not point out a single object in a picture. Not one! I have never been so frightened by anything in my life.
    I first started by simply contac papering some pictures and using them like flashcards. He would of course get sooo angry at me that he'd throw them. He would do the same with books, as well. It was so frustrating, but I kept persisting. Even if all I could get was one minute of his attention. I started with animals and would give him a animal card as I was preparing his meals. He got to where he just liked carrying them around. So, a couple of the first set of cards was a dog, an apple, a ball, and a fish. I honestly thought at the time he just liked to chew on them, but after about 6 mos. two of the his first words were apple and ball.

    I have considered many times using photographs or even catalog cutouts as they are more "true to life" in appearance. Some may argue which method is best. My only care was whatever works.

    So yes, at almost age three, Zachary can point out objects and I have noticed a huge improvement in his receptive skills. He knows his entire board and can point out almost anything in books. He uses many "signs" for words he can't say also. I have an ASL book and also the book "Baby Signs" that I use as a reference, but some signs he uses are just his own and that's fine with me.

    I attribute much of his speech to a decrease in frustration. I mean obviously there's more to it, but I believe it was a combination of many different angles of assisting, so he wouldn't be apprehensive to keep trying.

    Candy doesn't always work for us either. First off, he has it so rarely, it is not appealing. In fact, today at OT she tried to offer a piece and he had zero interest. Zachary is motivated by stickers sometimes, pens or paints sometimes, a drink of pop , a movie. His favorite is super balls. LOL

    Sara

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    thanks for the great info. sara. hmmm.....do you think this would work for my 17 month old??? i read somewhere yesterday that by the age of 15 months a child can usually say 10 words. my little guy is 17 months and can say maybe 3 words (on a good day! )
    he can say mama, dada, bye.....that is about it. it kinda got me worried when i read it. my daughter has always been so early doing everything. she is 4 and is sooooo smart for her age. what do you think? do you think this might help him to learn some new words???? thank you so much again!!!

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    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    It sure would help. Another thing that I do is a lot of music time. (ex: rhymes and childrens songs) I increased that and feel it really helped. The more he heard the same things, the more he anticipated and grew to learn the words and would attempt more sounds. I also attached sounds to every daily task. (ex: buckling him into car seat, walking up stairs, opening and closing doors) Just a sound, so in time he would mimic just a sound and I could build off of that. I also do a lot of imaginative play with him with dolls, plush, small figurines, cars, animals.

    So, like if your little one is saying mama, dada, bye bye. You can build off mama with words like more and milk and with bye bye words like ball.

    I learned to get really chatty with him.

    Have you considered having your little one evaluated?

    Sara

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    no i hadn't considered it yet. i just always thought it was cause he was the "2nd child." you know what people say. the 2nd child is usually a lot slower to do things than the first. my mom was joking and said my daughter won't let him get a word in. she is always speaking for him. i think i will try this though. i think it will help him!! thank you!!

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    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Please know I am pro-early intervention, so I, of course being a parent of a child with special needs, tell everyone to have their child evaluated, if they even slightly suspect anything could be wrong. I say it out of kindness and would never ever assume to know your child better than you do.
    I will share this with you though.
    At 18 mos I suspected my son had speech issues because he had only about 8-10 words. (he had regressed in speech as well) The screening person from early intervention came and prescreened for further evaluations. Her evaluation concluded my son was on target and fine.
    I didn't agree and pressed for a more extensive evaluation. This second evaluation confirmed my suspicions.
    My point again is that YOU know your child best. ;-)

    Sara

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    Your motivaters should change and grow with the child, that actually shows progress. I have had great results with communication through choice making--it's time for dessert, putting out a dish of cooked spinach and a dish of pudding, identify each with the words and PEC card and expecting the person to communicate their choice by stating "I want .. " and waiting for a response-either being handed a card or speaking the words, whatever their level is. This works best with the most stubborn or headstrong people, those who know what they like and dont like. I am currently working closely with a brain injured man who refuses to use communication boards, devices of any sort. I found that he loves getting hand massages, I started giving him one daily, then presented a yes/no communication board, telling him that if he wanted one he needed to answer me when I ask "do you want your hands massaged?" After over a year of trying everything else to motivate him to try different devices I finally found a strong enough motivator and within 2 months, he's up to 8 words on the board.

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