Family Support Key Worker – Working With PECS

Just under two weeks ago we had our first home visit from our assigned Family Support Key Worker. Ethan was very excited when she arrived, which is positive as I think she would have a hard task if Ethan didn’t like her, but considering Ethan was sitting on her lap by the end of our appointment I don’t think we have any concerns.

She brought Ethan a PECS folder, she told us that this is something we now have to take with us everywhere as this is Ethan’s voice.

She then put Ethan’s PECS use to the test, by this stage we had been only playing the chocolate and bubble games with him, which I blogged about HERE. She also used bubbles with him.

She started with just the PECS card for bubbles, it was placed on the front of the folder and Ethan had to give her the card to make her blow the bubbles for him. Before blowing the bubbles she would say “Ready, Steady, Go!”. The first time, out of nowhere, Ethan said GO for her as if she wasn’t quick enough with the bubbles. It was as clear as anything but he only said it the once, all the other times he hummed the words for her. She said this is very common for children on the autistic spectrum it’s as if they don’t want to say the word until they are happy they can say it correctly.

She then moved on to using two cards and Ethan had to give her the correct card for bubbles. The other card was of a yellow block and if he ever gave her this card he would be given the block. Ethan never gave her this card. The card’s were then placed inside the folder to see if Ethan would open the folder to retrieve the card he wanted, he also did this. She was very impressed with his progress.

We tried to use PECS with some of Ethan’s toys but he was too interested in the bubbles to move on, that was until we brought out CAKE! I was then able to use the PECS card with Ethan to exchange for the cake.

After all of Ethan’s hard work he was then aloud to have some iPad time.

She spent another hour just talking to me and filling out her report. She also gave me an introduction to PECS DVD for us all to watch, this was our homework.

Ethan’s PECS folder is now full of all the lovely cards that I have made for him so far, you can see how I created these HERE.

PECS Cards

 

PECS Cards
We are now using the PECS system everyday for every item that Ethan ‘ask’s’ for. He does need prompting at the moment as Ethan never asks for things, for example he never asks for food if he is hungry or a drink if he is thirsty until he sees the item in question. So we put the cards on the front for him to pick from. This has helped at lunch time or snack time as now Ethan can choose what he wants, something he has never been able to do before. 
 
Ethan has been asking us to put the TV on for him in the morning without any prompting so that is a positive step, he just needs to learn that he can do this with all of the items. 
 
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3 Comments

  1. 5th June 2013 / 9:24 am

    This is fascinating and wonderful that Ethan is making progress with it! It’s great how it encourages him to make his desires known. It reminds me a little of something we worked on with Little M in his speech therapy. The therapist used a picture board with snapshots of each activity they were doing in the session with the name underneath. This was so he could visualise what came next as he would get a little flustered and not focus properly on each activity. It worked so well, focused him and really engaged him. After each activity he’d remove the picture from the board and pop it in the toy post box to symbolise the activity had finished. He also learnt about waiting and sequence. We did this at home for a while and now don’t really need it as his language processing has nearly caught up. Might actually blog about it, these kinds of things useful for all children I think. x

    • 5th June 2013 / 2:09 pm

      Please do blog about it. I’m thinking of making one of these for Ethan to know what’s happening each day. He is a real daddy’s boy and I think it throws him when Darren is at work and I think a picture board could help with that.

  2. 9th June 2013 / 4:05 pm

    How absolutely wonderful. Your key worker sounds lovely. I believe my nephew used these PEC cards – and I think he still does. I am certain that this will help his progess in leaps and bounds. Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo again lovely x

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