Autism · Family

The Art of Communication Part One

Over the last few weeks B has come on in leaps and bounds, well to those who know her well it’s leaps but to the general public it’s probably not very noticeable but who cares about everyone else? Firstly the little lady has started using PEC’s (Picture Exchange Communication) independently at nursery to ask for chocolate buttons and crisps. This really is a leap as it’s the first time in her 4 years that she has ever asked for anything in any way other than dragging my hand in the direction of something. PEC’s at her level look like this:

PECsAnd are very basic choices but eventually they lead onto:1719486

Which is basically talking for children who cannot process the concept of functional language like B. PEC’s are designed to complement speech and not replace it, basically if she starts realising that communicating gets her what she wants then speaking is ultimately faster and easier as she can actually speak. Her brother does the same with Makaton (a type of sign language) thanks to this guy: justin-fletcher

Justin Fletcher aka Mr Tumble aka Toala by L which when you read on you’ll see can lead to some confusion!

As soon as he realised that if he signed milk, cake or biscuit he (usually) got them, well he was off! He now still signs biscuit as it’s a hard word and milk although this has expanded to just meaning any drink but cake has become a proper demand word as well as Dyam (jam) and Toala (toast) which he asks for as soon as his eyes open I generally get the context of the Toala/Toana request right..but not always. The hope is that PEC’s will do the same for B.

The same day that she used PEC’s for the first time, she took to the nursery computer and typed out Bella Logan Mama which, I can assure you brought a tear to my eye. My daughter wants nothing to do with my son and he just wants her to play with him so to see that she not only knows his name but can spell it and chose to write it of her own free will is astonishing and encouraging. Every parent wants their children to have a relationship and as of yet this is the first real acknowledgement of him, discounting kicking, biting and hitting him away from her!

A week later I was handed a sheet of her writing which was lovely to see as at home getting her to hold a pen is painful all round. What made it even more extra special was the photographs her TA handed me of her actually writing it independently (over dashes) not hand on hand which she’d always needed in the past. Amazing doesn’t even cover it!10414930_10152231331937746_184899652329014220_n 10415679_10152231331897746_3574390265786693696_n 10427270_10152231331792746_536757032960091118_n

Of course it’s not all positive (when is it?) her obsession with the iPad/galaxy tab/iPhone is at a definite high and can cause real meltdowns when not only have they all run out of battery but she’s managed to break the chargers…how do I explain/resolve this? Answer, I can’t. I just have to let it run its course. I’m less concerned with her lack of constructive play at home now that I know she is getting involved and being stretched every morning. I guess it takes the pressure off me a little.

School is approaching fast in September and all these little things will really help her be better prepared, and when I say her, I obviously mean me!



5 thoughts on “The Art of Communication Part One

  1. These are fantastic progressions, no wonder you are a happy and proud mumma.
    And so heartening to see that B acknowledges her brother in print even if not (yet) in day to day living.
    Thrilled for you, and thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. I’m so pleased to hear she is progressing so well and how lovely of the TA to take pictures to share with you! I hope her progress continues and her relationship with her brother improves! xx #ssamazingachievements

    1. Thanks, the nursery are really very good considering it’s mainstream and she’s at the lower end of the spectrum. I did read your blog earlier sorry I didn’t comment realised I was late for pick up from said nursery haha! Glad your little one is coming along, I’m in a similar position with my 28 month old 🙂

  3. Our two sound so alike and at the same stage. We just had to order another iPad as the last one has well and truly died. I really hope the PECS help you and you get some words.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

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