PECS vs AAC

Before reading this post please read my previous posts

PECS has been around forever. But that is the problem, it is an outdated system. I see so many teachers still using PECS. Now before you go sending my hate mail, remember I am not an SLP this is just my opinion and experience. 

For those of you who are not familiar with PECS let me give you a brief rundown. PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. It is a form of AAC ( although in my opinion it is so old that it might as well not be one) that was developed in the 80’s based on the work of Skinner. The process of utilizing it is in phases which can be viewed  here.

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  • Limitations of pecs:
    • Bulky and constantly changing out pages and pictures
    • Does not emphasize core word vocabulary
    • Not easily accessible across social settings
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to mount
  • Pros of  other aac:
    • Can choose between low and high tech (speech output)
    • Easy to transport
    • Anyone can understand it, very user friendly 
    • Expandable vocabulary – grows with you
    • Easily funded through medicaid for private devices
  • Other AAC options
    • Flip n’ talk
    • Proloquo
    • Tobi dynovox products
    • Switch systems
    • Go talk
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  • Myth:
    • “My child/student isn’t high enough. “This is what I hear the most and is my biggest pet peeve!
    • ◦Unless they have a motor delay no child is too “low.” This does not mean your child is going to master their AAC device overnight let alone in months. Every child is different. Using AAC requires lots of modeling though aided language simulation (separate blog)

I promise you if you make the switch from PECS to AAC you will not be disappointed! Just trial it for a month and give it a chance!

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