Transtioning from PECS to SGDs - Do you have students that have mastered Phase IV of PECS? Have you also implemented Attribute concepts and found that your learner’s book is starting to overflow with pictures? For some students with this profile, they may be in the process of transitioning to speech. However, if the student has not developed spoken words and/or if the speech is unintelligible, it may be time to explore a possible transition to a speech generating device (SGD). But, with so many choices available, how do we begin the decision-making process? At Pyramid, we strongly encourage teams to complete a PECS Language Sample. Many educators are familiar with the collection of a speech language sample, yet we often overlook the necessity for completing assessment and analysis of our student’s ability to formulate messages via pictures. Specifically, teams should consider documenting a sample of picture exchanges over several days. It is important to note the phrases used and number of pictures included for each exchange. Further, the team should assess whether the interactions were spontaneous or responsive. Correct picture discriminations versus prompted exchanges are also important to note. For a sample form, please click here.
Upon analysis of this type of information, the team will have good information regarding the student’s current skill set. Based on this information, we can then begin exploring appropriate device matching based upon our student’s specific skill set. The PECS IV+ app provides a seamless transition for many of our PECS users. However, we all recognize that “one size doesn’t fit all” in the field of special education. As such, devices should be uniquely selected for each student.
Within upcoming newsletters, we will explore other necessary considerations related to the transition process, such as effective teaching strategies for device instruction. Or, for detailed information on this topic and much more, consider attending our full day training on Transitioning from PECS to SGDs!