||"A Picture's Worth" is simply a must read for anyone who seeks help for a child who is challenged by verbal communications.
The authors, Andy Bondy and Lori Frost are the developers of PECS (The Picture Exchange Communications System). PECS seeks to quickly establish functional communications with children with autism. Contrary to popular belief, PECS will not discourage a child from developing verbal speech, or cause a child to lose established speech.
Although the therapeutic goal of PECS seeks only to rapidly establish functional augmented communications by teaching a child to exchange a picture icon for a highly desired item, the program's application in preschoolers offers a marvelous side effect. Approximately two-thirds of the children under five who used PECS as their primary means of communications for a full year moved on to develop verbal language.
A Picture's Worth describes in user friendly language the mechanics and theories behind the six successive levels of implementing PECS. Bondy and Frost's user friendly language and clearly written commentary makes it easy for anyone who is interested in establishing communications with their autistic child to begin training.
The book also offers compelling case studies, and an overview of the innovative and effective behavioral techniques of Bondy and Frost's companion program, "The Pyramid Approach to Education".
PECS is particularly effective when combined with the behavioral techniques of the Pyramid Approach to education, and offers the child who has struggled to find success with Lovaas based ABA and other intervetion programs an inexpensive option which will appeal to the well documented visual strengths of children with autism.
Anyone considering implementing a beginning intervention program with a child with autism should consider taking a look at this insightful, easy to read, and well written contribution to the body of literature regarding autism teaching methods.
PECS is a marvelous stand alone program for beginning communicators, but it can also coexist nicely with any other early intervention programs, allowing your child to communicate effectively and naturally reduce negative behaviors while alternative interventions seek to teach verbal language.
As the mother of two boys with autism, I wish I'd begun PECS on the day of their diagnoses. However, I'd be sure to advance them to more sophisticated means of augmented communications as they age out of early intervention as most children with autism will find that they have much more to communicate than their basic wants and needs. Moving along towards more advanced techonology in communications systems will allow them to do so, and prevent many of the negative behaviors that came back to our son when his method of communications failed to grow with him.
- Liane Gentry Skye
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]