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Picture Exchange Communication System

PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. It is an alternative communication system that we use with some students in school.  It can be a relatively simple and effective way of helping communication.

PECS helps children to convey their thoughts and needs.  Many students find learning easier when it is done visually. In PECS a student can initiate communication by handing out picture cards related to what he or she is thinking of. It could be a picture of a yoghurt, which would mean that the child is hungry or a picture of a football, which would convey play.

There are several things that can be used in PECS. Staff can use colorful graphic images, pictures cut out from magazines, actual photos or even drawings. As long as the picture is accurate and simple it can be used.  Students who can communicate in other ways may find it easier to use PECS when they are feeling stressed.