I SPY A communication icon somewhere in this corner of my room! Can you see it?
Look, on my brown cupboard, velcro'd to the outside of the door! Ahhh HA. You see it? That is where I have placed a picture symbolizing books for one of my students.
I took the picture of a basket of books, labeled it "book" and laminated it. I attached it to the storage closet with velcro where the books are kept on top of. I know, your probably thinking, why does she keep her books on top of a storage closet. Well, you would too if you had one of my kiddo's! One of my students is OBSESSED, I mean literally in love with looking at books. If I let him sit in the corner with 30 books he would be in heaven. I use to keep these baskets of books in a book shelf so my students could easily access them. This has become such a distraction that I had to put them out of reach. He was pulling books out all day. Of course, this did not stop my kiddo. He's a smart one standing on swings, chairs and climbing book shelves to access the books.
I thought about it long and hard, and thought, let's make this a learning moment :)
I am using this real life scenario to allow him practice in using his voice through PECS. He is a PEC's phase 1 kiddo who understands the concept of communicating with pictures when communicating for food in a highly structured setting. He has not yet understood the concept of picking a picture to request an item without a highly structured setting during snack time.
Now, he can walk to the cabinet and request a book through the use of pictures. When he begins climbing for the books, myself and my staff prompt him to the picture. It's only been a few days and he TOTALLY GETS IT. The only problem is..... he runs to that darn picture all day long. My philosophy is, if he requests it through a picture, he gets it. Even if it's for 30 seconds. Now that we know he understands how to communicate through pictures, I am trying to introduce him to more opportunities throughout the day. I am also working on him using a first/then card to understand when it is appropriate to request a book, and when it is work time.
BUT, one little step at a time :) For now, I am thrilled that he is requesting a book the proper way and not breaking his neck climbing on my swing!