Everyday life can be a struggle outside of the home for many children with speech delay or speech disorders. Even more so if without Mummy/Daddy who tends to be ‘tuned in’ to their child’s wants/needs aren’t there. It can be hard to get across a need or a want so can then become a tantrum (cue the stares from passers-by) or the child becomes more ‘introvert’ and just sits silently in the stroller. J tends to be a combination of both. Some days I even have to check the stroller to make sure he’s still inside as I haven’t heard from him in a while!
Now that J has reached a confident level of PECS use (see my previous blogs to find out more about Picture Exchange Communication System and how it helps) we are ready to use the symbols outside of the house and with different people.
If you have time please watch the video on our Instagram which shows J using the PECs book today to tell me what vehicles he wanted to play with.
The aim is for J to flick through the book and find the picture of the item he is requesting. In town he may see a car go past. He will point and make a sound but if I missed the car I won’t know what he was on about. Now he can look in his book and hold up the car picture to ‘tell me’ what it is he saw. At home, he might want to do a drawing. Now he can get his pencil picture and I can get them out the cupboard for him.
Here’s a short video (1min 40 secs) showing you the book in more detail:
I left the book with J at his Aunties yesterday. He could show her when he wanted something to eat (and what) which helped her as she’s not learnt all J’s Makaton signs yet. It will go to preschool with him, toddler group and town.
There is a fantastic shop on the official PECS website. I’m planning on buying the Dear Zoo bookset with symbols for J to help retell the story and show me his favourite animals.
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