Saturday, October 18, 2008

PECS

So we're starting a little picture exchange communication system (PECS) with Quinn. I was a hesitant at first, thinking, "But he's gonna talk any day now, so why do we need that?" But it's become clear that: 1) It might be awhile before Quinn speaks; and 2) He has a lot to say, as evidenced by his numerous adorable requests for assistance by putting our hands on stuff. Today, for example, Quinn got Zac to open the car door, buckle Quinn in, and drive around the block - all by putting Zac's hands on what he wanted. (For the drive around the block part, he nudged Zac towards the front seat - Zac had been sitting in the back seat with Quinn - and Zac took that as an indication that Quinn wanted Zac to drive the car.) We wonder, did Quinn want to go just anywhere (like around the block) or did he have a specific destination in mind? We hope that as Quinn's PECS power increases, he'll be able to tell us lots of things. We can't wait to learn more about what he's thinking and wanting.

Some technical notes for others who might be curious about PECS: the pics shown above are just a few of the ones we made. Some of them are pictures we took, and some we found using google image search. We printed the pics on our home printer using picasa's handy "contact sheet" collage function. Then we glued the pics to corrugated cardboard and laminated them using no-heat-needed laminating sheets from Target. Finally, we stuck small pieces of velcro to the finished cards. Yup, it's a PITA. But we hope it will be worth it. We just didn't think Quinn would respond to the standard PECS.
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6 comments:

The Other Lion said...

That's exactly what I did for my son. It worked beautifully. And once he started talking more, he just naturally stopped using them. I kept them up for times of high frustration and for when babysitters came over, though. I just told them to ask, "Show me the picture" and he would. Good luck!!!

Sarah said...

I'm really psyched to hear it worked so well. So far Quinn is able to release a picture into our hands if we give it to him - or even if we give him a choice of a couple, but he doesn't take the initiative to go to the board and take one off. We just started though, so I'm sure that will come in time.

FXSmom said...

Matty likes the real pictures too. He isn't showing much enthusiasm for the computer pictures of the professional system. Maybe that is a fragile x thing!? :)

Ann said...

That is beautiful. Good job for making one by yourself to appeal to Quinn.

Vicki Davis said...

That is so great, I wonder what a good age would be to start doing womthing like that, how old is Quinn? Have you thought about doing baby sign language with him?

Sarah said...

We did sign language half-assed for about 1 year, and intensively for about 6 months, and Quinn has yet to even make the "more" sign. He has great difficulty with symbolic communication of any kind. He does not point or wave bye-bye. That is why I think PECS is working a little better. It is more literal than the other types of communication we've tried - the picture is still a symbol of course, but much closer to reality than a word, gesture, or sign.