PECS Update – I Want

Ethan started to learn how to use PECS after his diagnosis last year. He took to it very quickly and I spent ages taking photos of all of his toys and making the cards so that he could request the items he wanted.

PECS Picture Exchange Communication System
PECS Picture Exchange Communication System


PECS Picture Exchange Communication System

Then one day he just decided he didn’t want to use them anymore and would scream at me if I showed him his folder. We had no choice but to forget about it for a while.

This isn’t what we want as through PECS Ethan should be able to communicate his wants and needs to other people. So in preparation for Ethan starting school our family support key worker has been working hard to get Ethan to use them again.

At the moment he is doing very well with them at nursery, and he does very well when our key worker visits but it is still very hit and miss with us.

Before Ethan gave up on using his PECS he did progress to using two cards to form a mini sentence. The ‘I want’ card and the item card, so over the past months our key worker has pushed Ethan to see if we could get a sound for want. Ethan being Ethan surprised us and has learnt how to say I.

PECS Picture Exchange Communication System

What’s even more amazing is that Ethan has transferred his use of I to making his requests at home without using his PECS. All of a sudden he will say I and then we have fun trying to work out what item he is requesting.  

I was able to capture his use of I and him using his PECS in this short video…

This really has opened up some communication for us, Ethan knows he is requesting something and we know we have to work out what he wants. At the same time we do have to watch how often we give into him as he now expects his demands to be met every time. Giving him one hundred chocolates in one go maybe a bit too much!

I’m also linking this post to Loud N Proud, another fantastic thing that makes me so proud of my little guy!


  1. 18th June 2014 / 10:29 am

    I think this is great, and don’t worry about giving into his demands, because right now, communication is your goal. Wonderful to see Ethan’s started using ‘I’.

  2. 18th June 2014 / 10:56 am

    oh my goodness i never heard of that before, it really is amazing seeing different parents going through different parenting experiences. You are so good taking pictures of ALL his toys what dedication, and so awesome seeing such results from Ethan amazing

  3. 18th June 2014 / 10:58 am

    Well done, Ethan! The video really made me smile – love that he just kept asking for chocolate, he’s obviously a cunning little boy!

  4. 19th June 2014 / 9:20 am

    What a great idea for helping with his language. It sounds like he is doing great and I’m sure he will get back into doing it at home – they like to play up their parents don’t they. Cute video!

  5. 21st June 2014 / 10:46 pm

    Well done Ethan – that is brilliant and that video was so cute and so funny that I watched it twice through. It reminds me of Miss T who is a pretty big chocaholic. Great progress Ethan. xxx

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