Featured Consultant - Dr. Anthony Castrogiovanni
We are excited to announce our featured Pyramid Consultant for the month of October is Dr. Anthony "Tony" Castrogiovanni.
Tony has worked with PECS creators Dr. Andy Bondy & Ms. Lori Frost since the early 1990s and joined Pyramid as a Consultant / Supervisor in 1999.
Tony started his career in the 1970s with the de-institutionalization movement, helping folks back into their home communities, most notably from Willowbrook in New York City. Prior to Pyramid, he was the Clinical and Residential Director of Chimes, Delaware's adult special populations program. The Delaware Autism Program (DAP) students would graduate and then enter adult services within Tony's program. It was there that PECS was extended to adult populations for the first time. He also sat on the Monitoring and Review Board for DAP during that period.
Just before joining Pyramid, Tony had developed the largest 'in-home / classroom' ABA consultation service on the east coast, with classrooms and students from South Carolina to northern Maine; while Director of the Center for Autism Research and Educational Services at Bancroft NeuroHealth in New Jersey.
Since joining Pyramid he has developed several new trainings, been involved in research and consultation, and continues to love the professional interaction training and consultation provides, and ultimately how it helps individuals and families.
"It has been a joy to watch PECS and then Pyramid grow and expand and help children and adults around the world. I feel lucky to be a part of it all!" - Tony's feelings concerning his experience with Pyramid.
Tony is a valued member of the Pyramid family! Congratulations to Tony for all of his accomplishments and excellent work!
Pyramid Attending the Autism New Jersey Conference
Dr. Andy Bondy, co-developer of PECS and co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, and Dr. Joe McCleery will be presenting several sessions at the 32nd Annual Autism New Jersey Conference on October 23rd & 24th in Atlantic City, NJ. Pyramid will also be exhibiting during the conference.
Below are the sessions that Dr. Bondy and Dr. McCleery are scheduled to present:
Workshop # 40: Building Communication Skills with PECS and Apps, Dr. Andy Bondy, PhD (Friday, October 24th, 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM)
Workshop # 60: Working with Nonverbal and Minimally Verbal Children, Dr. Joe McCleery, PhD (Friday, October 24th, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM)
Lunch and Learn Session # 6: School-Based Physical Exercise for Students with ASD, Joseph McCleery, PhD (Friday, October 24th, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM)
Lunch and Learn Session # 8: The Buddha-ful Eightfold Path to Effective Work in Autism, Andy Goyo Bondy, PhD and Bright Dawn Lay Minister (Friday, October 24th, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM)
For more information about the conference and/or to register visit the following links:
2015 Catalog Now Available
The 2015 Pyramid/PECS Catalog is now available. Please visit http://www.pecsusa.com/brochure.php to view.
PECS to SGDs - Guidelines & Recommendations
We’ve just released a document outlining our position, guidelines and recommendations for a successful transition from PECS to a speech generating device (SGD)! Go to http://www.pecsusa.com/Brochures/PECStoSGD-GuidelinesRecommendations-USA.pdf to read the document. For more information about transitioning from PECS to SGDs attend our new full day talk, Transitioning from PECS to SGDs.
For more information or to host this training contact us at email@example.com or 888-732-7462.
Dr. Andy Bondy - Cultural Sensitivity and Ethical Practices Talk
On August 8th Andy Bondy, PhD, co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, will be presenting a talk titled Cultural Sensitivity and Ethical Practices at the 2nd Annual Ethics in Professional Practice Conference hosted by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.
For more information about this conference and/or to register visit www.behavior.org/event.php?id=6134.
Pyramid is now on Instagram
Pyramid Educational Consultants are excited to announce that we have joined Instagram (www.instagram.com/pecsglobal)! Follow us on IG @PECSglobal or search for us at PyramidEdConsultants!
ACEing Autism Partnership
Pyramid has partnered with ACEing Autism & donated custom visual supports for use at their tennis camps for kids with autism! Go to www.aceingautism.com to learn more about this wonderful volunteer-driven non-profit organization!
Countries Served by Pyramid
Pyramid Educational Consultants have provided services in more than 60 countries worldwide. Check out the full list of countries served here: http://www.pecsusa.com/Brochures/CountriesServedbyPyramid.pdf
Are you interested in having a Pyramid Consultant come to you to provide workshops and/or consultation to you, your staff or community? Contact us at 888-732-7462 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our services.
Official Pyramid Blog
Pyramid Educational Consultants is proud to announce the launch of the official Pyramid Blog. Each month Pyramid’s Clinical Research and Development Director, Joe McCleery, PhD, will be adding a new post to the blog. Go to https://blog.pecs.com/en/ to read the first blog post about the PECS Toddler Study!
Want to receive monthly updates about the Pyramid Blog? Join the Pyramid Blog email list here: http://www.pecs.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1
For more information about Dr. Joe McCleery and the Pyramid Blog, please go here: http://blog.pecs.com/about/
PECS Success Story
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, a "PECS Success Story Contest" was held during the month of April. We received many submissions from parents and professionals who have found success implementing the PECS protocol. We would like to thank those who participated. The winning submission can be found below.
Nerds - When I first met “Chris,” he was three years old. He walked into our Child Find screening day shepherded by his mother; her look of exhaustion and apprehension spoke volumes about their time together leading up to this day. It was obvious that Chris showed the classic signs of Autism. His “communication” consisted mainly of screaming, jumping, and crawling under furniture. At times he would erupt into “fits” that had no readily-apparent trigger. He was using no words and did not appear to be responding to the words of others. He had self-stimulatory behaviors and obsessive interests. We conducted our screening as best we could, referred him to an audiologist to rule out hearing loss, and began paperwork to test him for special education eligibility. Within weeks he was enrolled in our pre-school special education classroom and I started him on the PECS program; excited to try this new-to-me method of therapy.
Chris moved quickly through Phase 1, seemingly hungry for the effective interactions that these colorful little pictures opened up for him. His motivation, at that time, was highest when working for “Nerds” candy. Like so many children with Autism, Chris craved the sensory pop of sour or tangy tastes. As the days went by we moved through the program and he would occasionally attempt to say what sounded like a word. Then, words began to emerge, clearly formed and related to the items at hand. We began Phase IV: Sentence Formation. Chris initially stumbled a bit as the expectations of the task changed, but he recovered quickly and quickly grasped the idea. Within a session or two he was arranging the little icons on his orange plastic sentence strip and handing over his message, like a relay runner handing off his baton. Still though, he would only say one word each time; sometimes not even that. Nevertheless he was communicating and we were making progress. Then came “The Day:” We began our Speech session and I got out a small box of strawberry-flavored “Nerds” candy. Chris’s eyes lit up as he reached for his blue PECS book. Deftly selecting and affixing his icons, he handed over his sentence strip. But before I could look at the icons, Chris clearly spoke words which still echo in my memory to this day: “I WANT NERDS.” After I recovered from my shock I fumbled to open the tiny candy box and reward him for his efforts. I may have emptied the whole box into his hand I was so excited. To this day, five years later, I still have that little empty “Nerds” box tucked into my desk; a reminder of Chris’s victory, and mine.
Submission by: Gordon Dalton - Lovingston, Virginia
PECS Products Now Available in Spanish!
We are pleased to announce that we are now offering the PECS 151 in Spanish!
This set of pictures is a collection of some of the most commonly used pictures for PECS. We compiled this list over several years by tracking the picture vocabulary development of hundreds of new PECS users. Our generic, non-specific pictures are perfect for combining with attributes for precise requests or comments. To save you valuable time, these full color pictures are printed on rigid paper and are laminated for added durability! VELCRO® Brand loop VELCOINS® are included to apply to the back of your pictures. "Imágenes de color para la comunicación visual."
To order, or for more information, please visit http://www.pecsproducts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=176
The Second Edition PECS Training Manual is also available in Spanish. For more information please visit http://www.pecsproducts.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=28 and select "Spanish" in the drop down menu.
New App Video
Want to learn more about our apps? Join Dr. Joe McCleery as he reviews and explains our apps in greater detail. Watch this short video on Pyramid's official YouTube channel, PECSGlobal.