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If you work with autistic children, you've probably heard of PECS (and heard it pronounced "pex.") PECS, or Picture Exchange Cards, were originally created by Pyramid Products as a tool for communicating with non-verbal people on the spectrum. Since its invention, though, "PECS" has become shorthand for any kind of image-based communication.

So... what's the difference between PECS and any other kind of image-based communication? Should you pay for the old original form of PECS training -- or just take a "do it yourself" approach? What's your opinion??

Whether you're using PECS training or just using pictures to get your point across (and understand what your loved one on the spectrum is thinking), you'll probably be needing high-quality, low-cost images. If so, try exploring the sites on this list of Top 9 Best Sites for Free, Low-Cost Communication Pictures!
November 10, 2006 at 11:01 am
(1) Michele says:

I use a picture based schedule for my son, 5yr Aspergers. We use visuals aids even though he is very verbal. It helps with transitions and provides less anxiety when getting ready for school. We have one hanging in the bathroom that aids with proper bathroom etiquette and what we need to do in the am (teeth brushing, hair, wash face etc) and in the pm as well. This has helped him to become a lot more independent without asking what do I do now all the time. i highly recommend the use even with “typical” kids. My daughter, 7yrs, uses it just as much. My husband and I also use a visual schedule board in our Sunday school room where we teach “typical” and “non-typical” kindergarteners.

November 10, 2006 at 1:39 pm
(2) Robyn says:

We, too, use picture schedules for my son, Noah, who’s six. They are particularly useful at school when he has to transition from activity to activity. If there’s a sudden change in the schedule, such as a fire drill, it can be written on the schedule. Also, I use visuals to create a friendship book. The book contains pages of several kids in his class with their pictures (with parents’ permission). The child then writes what their favorite food, book, movie, toy, etc. is and we read the book to our son. It has really helped him learn his classmates and form some real friendships. We will continue to add a child or two per week until the whole class is in his book. As part of his homework, Noah has to memorize a poem each week. I post the poem in his room with supporting visuals, and it helps him understand the poem better. Noah has difficulty with expressive language, so when he’s frustrated, it’s difficult to determine the source of his distress. We’ve discovered that he likes to draw or have us draw pictures. He tells us what to draw and we can usually surmise what’s upsetting him. In addition, if he can’t have or do something that he wants, drawing a picture of it helps him come to grips with his disappointment. For example, Noah wanted pancakes one morning, but I had no gluten-free mix. He was very upset and asked for a picture of pancakes. I drew a picture, labeled it “Noah’s pancakes,” and he was happy.

April 15, 2007 at 8:53 am
(3) Mike says:

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February 29, 2008 at 9:00 am
(4) janet says:

Pictures are a great way of communicating with Autistic children and show their value when there is a change in the schedule. They seem to be able to absorb the changed information at their own pace and this leads to fewer flare ups.

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