What is PECS?
The Picture Exchange Communication System, or PECS, allows people with little or no communication abilities to communicate using pictures. People using PECS are taught to approach another person and give them a picture of a desired item in exchange for that item. By doing so, the person is able to initiate communication. A child or adult with autism can use PECS to communicate a request, a thought, or anything that can reasonably be displayed or symbolized on a picture card. PECS works well in the home or in the classroom.
PECS was developed in 1984 by Lori Frost, MS, CCC/SLP and Dr. Andrew Bondy. It was first used at the Delaware Autistic Program. The goal of (PECS) is to teach children with autism a fast, self-initiating, functional communication system. PECS begins with the exchange of simple icons but rapidly builds “sentence” structure.
At one time many people opposed the use of PECS and sign language to teach children with autism to communicate. They argued that these methods would hurt the development of spoken language. However, there have now been several studies that have shown PECS actually helps people develop verbal language, can decrease tantrums and odd behaviors and allows for increased socialization.
We believe the real opportunity is in creating a real digital version of the system. A version that truly embraces the capabilities of the smart devices and utilizes them based on the actual children behavior.
This way the application can truly be a valuable tool that not only helps the child day to day life, but also helps the parents and caregivers achieve a better understanding of the child’s needs.
Minimizing the clutter and opting for more interactivity and adaptability can take the system truly to the next level.
- Visual Communication Cards with Audio
- Parent Notification System
- Algorithm that adapts to the child’s behaviors and habits
- Offline System to ask for help