Starter PEC's Book- Real Pictures!

I got called in to help set up a PEC's communication book for a little kindergartener next door . This girl is a CUTIE that was so much fun to work with.  She is non-verbal and profoundly deaf, so getting this set up was IMPERATIVE.  

Due to some of her health disabilities, she has limited hand control and sign language is not the best option for her.  I spent the day with her and interviewed parents and staff to determine her favorite things.  I chose to set up this PEC's book using only highly preferred items to start.  She is g-tube fed and can not be motivated by food, so I chose her favorite toys/activities to start with!

I am using a small 3 ring binder and real life images to start.  At this time, she is hand over hand dependent, but like I always say, it's NEW to her.  She will learn :) I made the PEC's larger than my standard PEC's due to her vision impairment.  Here are some pictures of the PEC's I set up to start.

(potato head, indoor swing)

(slide, walk)

(Lego's, apple toy)


(finished, more)

We spent all day with her showing her how to communicate using PEC's.  

How to implement PEC's for beginners: (The room 83 way)
-Give student a choice by placing two toys in front of him/her.
-When he/she grabs one toy, find that PEC, and place it on the binder in front of the student.
-Position the PEC's book in between the communicating student and the communicating staff member.
-Place a second staff member behind the communicating student to prompt the student when needed.
-Wait for the child to reach for the toy and have the prompting staff member physically prompt the student to grab the PEC, and hand it to the communicating staff.
-The communicating staff member will say, "Blocks" and hold up the PEC while handing the child the matching toy.
-Allow the child to play for a minute or two, and start again by taking the toy away and saying something along the lines of "my turn."
-Wait for the child to reach for the toy, and repeat the steps to requesting the toy through a PEC

This system can be used for toys, activities, snacks and much more.  The key to teaching PEC's communication is using two staff members in the beginning.  By using two staff members, the communicating staff member is able to focus on the two way communication.  The second staff member behind the child is able to prompt the student with out having to communicate with the student.  The makes it much easier for the student and does not confuse the student.


  1. The thing I love about our job is that our students are puzzles and we have to spend so much time problem solving. When people ask me isn't it boring teaching the same skills all day long year after year? And I tell them no, that my job is always challenging because not everyone can has access to what we are doing and I am constantly being challenged by my student's needs. I love this example and how you teach PECS. Being a middle/high school teacher, I have never had to teach PECS, because all of my students have come in with at least a rudimentary knowledge of them, but it could happen and I am so glad to have this example to follow. Thanks for always sharing what you do!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. We are about to start implementing the PECS program with a few of my students this coming week.
    Fun in ECSE

  3. Thanks for the explanation. I have not had to use this yet, but could see it in my near future and this is so helpful!!

  4. I love the velcro pages! Where did you get them from?

    Resource Room Roundabout

  5. I needed this list as a reminder. Thanks! I am about to start using with a student this week.