Thursday, November 02, 2006

PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)

Today I attended a meeting at Theo's school about PECS. Jeannie, Theo's speech therapist, is the one who made the presentation, along with Anthea, who had evaluated Theo in the summer. So it was nice to be dealing with people who knew Theo well. Another good thing was the intimate setting - just me and three other parents. We were in a small conference room and we got to practice using PECS with each other.

I still don't know if PECS is something I will be using with Theo at home, or whether it's something I'll think he needs at school. Ultimately I'll probably defer to Jeannie's opinon. Joe and I will both be sitting in on speech sessions next week, so we'll see then.

There are some aspects of PECS that thankfully, Theo is already too advanced for. For instance, he's great with single words. If it can help him with sentences, though, that would be great. That's where I'm undecided. I'm not sure if it would help. You readers probably need to know what PECS is in order for you to know what I'm talking about, but it's (ironically enough) very difficult to explain without visuals. Just know that it involves using pictures for EVERYTHING. For instance, if Theo wanted juice, he would go to his notebook of pictures, grab the picture of the juice, and bring it to me. I would then say "juice" or "I want juice." But Theo already knows the word for juice, and when he wants it, he usually goes to the fridge and brings it to me. And says it.

So in that sense, the system would be detrimental because it would involve an extra and unnecessary step for Theo. But it would be beneficial in that he'd be encouraged to make requests independently. Not just to me, but to a babysitter or an aunt, for example. And his vocabulary would increase.

After the meeting I went up to Grace's classroom to peek in, but they were out on a walk (there was a sign and a picture on the door saying they were out for a walk). Outside, I walked around looking for a group of kids...I actually found them! They were a couple of blocks away. Theo looked so cute and so happy, he was pointing to something. I said hello to Grace and gave Theo a kiss (and got a good one in return!). I left for work and some of the kids said "bye Theo's mommy!" Theo waved goodbye. Hey, he didn't used to even wave.

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