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Inclusion Team

Nkem Nwaozuzu

Assistant Headteacher

(Inclusion / P4A / DSL)

Katie Rye

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

What is PECS?

PECS is an intervention used with people with Autism to support their ability to express themselves using pictures.  More than using pictures for visual support, PECS is a functional communication system that develops important communication and social skills.

PECS is appropriate for people of all ages with a wide range of learning difficulties.  Originally developed for pre-school children with autism, PECS is now being successfully used with adults and children with a range of communication difficulties. PECS can be used anywhere that someone communicates.

The six phases of PECS

Phase I – How to Communicate

Students learn to exchange single pictures for items or activities they really want.

Phase II – Distance and Persistence

Still using single pictures, students learn to generalise this new skill by using it in different places, with different people and across distances. They are also taught to be more persistent communicators.

Phase III – Picture Discrimination

Students learn to select from 2 or more pictures to ask for their favourite things. These are placed in a communication book – a ring binder with Velcro® strips allowing pictures to be stored and easily removed for communication.

Phase IV –  Sentence Structure

Students learn to construct simple sentences on a detachable sentence strip using an ‘I want’ picture followed by a picture of the item being requested.

Phase V – Answering Questions

Students learn to use PECS to answer the question, “What do you want?”

Phase VI – Commenting

Now students are taught to comment in response to questions like ‘What do you see?’, ‘What do you hear?’, ‘What is it?’, etc. They learn to make up sentences starting with ‘I see’, ‘I hear’, ‘I feel’, ‘It is a’, etc.

Attributes and Language Expansion

Students learn to expand their sentences by adding adjectives, verbs, prepositions, etc.