Jul 21, 2008

PECS Book Exchange

Yes I like to come up with crazy titles to capture your attention.

Since completing our PECS binder I've been showing Ainsley cards when I have time and think of it. Keep in mind that there is a lot going on at our house. The usual things plus right now my seven year old is obsessed with Harry Potter. She can't go 5 minutes without asking a Harry Potter question, showing me a picture she's drawn from Harry Potter, or is insisting on wearing a pleated skirt knee socks and a turtleneck in July or some other non-sense such as decorating the entire house to be Hogwarts (that was today). My son just had his 5th birthday this week complete with Pirate party on Saturday, my crazy neighbor went postal about trimming the tree by the sidewalk, I had issues to resolve with one of Ainsley's therapists last week, Ainsley has been vomiting again for several weeks so I've been considering the pros and cons of surgery plus doing lots of stinky laundry and I'm working with the state and an agency to get Ainsley a nurse. So I've been busy as usual but I try my best to keep up with the therapies.

She gets really excited every time I bring out the PECS binder which I hope is a really good sign. Today she was having a blast looking at the cards and turning the pages for a few minutes together. According to PECS protocol the first step is to teach the child that handing over the picture means they'll get whatever is in the picture. Today I handed Ainsley the PECS card with the picture of books as I'm holding a book in my hand. Immediately she handed over the card with a big smile on her face. I handed her the book in exchange. This is the exchange part of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). She kicked her little legs with excitement and had the biggest grin on her face. What a cutie. I hope this means she's really understanding how it works and that she'll keep handing over those cards. Mostly she likes to hold onto the cards. Previously I wrote how she'd identified people in the PECS pictures. Well after doing that a few times she has since gotten pretty pissed off when I ask her to repeat that performance like a dog and pony show. And if I offer 2 PECS cards and ask her to pick one she's gotten pretty smart and will put out both arms and take them both at the same time so she gets to keep both instead of just the one she would otherwise have picked. At least with the exchange activity she gets something in return. Once she's mastered this step we can move on to the next. It would be so great if she could let us know what she wants.

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