Since he was two years old our son has been using PECS to communicate as even though he can makes sounds and says a few years words he is, at the time of writing, pre verbal. Before PECS he was a very frustrated little boy as he didn’t have a voice but once introduced he took to it immediately and was, and still is, the brightest student on his speech and language therapist’s books.
Jake unlike a lot of autistic children isn’t set on routine and we hadn’t bothered with a visual timetable for quite sometime. He responded well to it though during sessions at the hospital to guide him through the tasks they wanted him to take part it. We decided to try it at home as a way of encouraging him to play games with us, brush his teeth and eat dinner.
I have to say we wished we had done it sooner as it made Jake much more compliant, with a little bribery such as placing an iPad card after breakfast, as Jake realised that there was an order to things. It did come as a bit of a shock just how much he loves it as when coming down in the morning if there aren’t cards on the schedule he’ll lift it off the fridge and bring it to us as he likes to know the plan ahead. 🙂
We’re quite lucky though as some autistic children we get a little upset if the order of the cards are changed but Jake’s pretty easy going as sometimes if we are running late we may have to remove the odd card but explain that it will happen later instead. We’ve found it’s particularly useful as a night time routine as a typical order will be dinner, iPad, play, nappy, get dressed, brush teeth, story, bed.
We have since bought one for the pre-school our son attends and they have also commented on how useful a tool it has been at helping to structure the day as Jake is more relaxed and willing to go along with certain tasks such as getting his plimsolls on or waiting on the matt if there’s going to stories or computer time ahead. All in all if you have an autistic child give it a go even if you think, like Jake, they’re not set on routine.