Picture Exchange Communication System(PECS)
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is the term used to describe various methods of communication that can ‘add-on’ to speech and are used to get around problems with ordinary speech. AAC includes simple systems such as pictures, gestures and pointing, as well as more complex techniques involving powerful computer technology.
Some kinds of AAC are actually part of everyone's communication, for example: waving goodbye; giving a 'thumbs up' instead of speaking; pointing to a picture or gesturing in a foreign country. However, some people have to rely on AAC most of the time.
Different types of AAC
Low-tech communication systems do not need a battery to function and include: pen and paper to write messages or draw; alphabet and word boards; communication charts or books with pictures, photos and symbols; particular objects used to stand for what the person needs to understand or say. This is sometimes referred to as 'aided communication' because additional equipment is required. Example - PECS
High-tech communication systems need power from a battery or mains. Most of them speak and/or produce text. They range from simple buttons or pages that speak when touched, to very sophisticated systems. Some high-tech communication systems are based on familiar equipment such as mobile devices, tablets and laptops, others use equipment specially designed to support communication. This is sometimes referred to as 'aided communication' because additional equipment is required. Example - AVAZ
PECS was developed in 1985 as a unique augmentative/alternative communication intervention package for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disabilities. First used at the Delaware Autistic Program, PECS has received worldwide recognition for focusing on the initiation component of communication. PECS does not require complex or expensive materials. It was created with families, educators, and resident care providers in mind, so is readily used in a range of settings.
Avaz for Autism is a full-featured, research-based AAC app for autism. Avaz is designed with a focus to make speech therapy more effective, develop the child’s language and improve his intent to communicate. Avaz uses picture symbols and high-quality voice synthesis to help users create messages and develop language skills. Avaz seamlessly integrates a powerful keyboard to help users transitioning to text. Recommended by speech and language therapists working with children with autism worldwide.
At Magpie, we extensively use the Makaton sign language system, PECS and Avaz and offer Avaz and PECS modules to children and parents wherever necessary as an addition to the traditional speech language program