The biggest challenge that we are currently facing with Philip is his lack of language. Many of his other delays and issues can be traced to the fact that he does not talk and that he does not appear to understand what we say to him. As part of Philip’s IEP to address his speech delay, the staff at his preschool are utilizing PECS or a Picture Exchange Communication System. You can read more about the history and theory behind PECS here.

As the name indicates, pictures are used instead of verbal language to communication. The ultimate goal is to use these icons as a bridge to the spoken words. But the first step is for the child to use the pictures to express wants and needs. The key is that the child must show intent. Sure, Philip may pick up a picture and hand it to someone, yet that, in itself, could just be a game: here I am, giving small squares to teacher.

Today, however, Philip’s speech language therapist wrote a note to us on his daily report. She reminded us that they are using pictures to communicate. Then she wrote that during her session with Philip this morning, he chose a picture and reached to the teacher with it to indicate that he wanted to swing more. “He showed intent and we are very excited.”

When I had called Peter on my lunch break, he wouldn’t tell me what today’s report said. He admitted that he almost called me right after picking up Philip, but he knows me too well. “I didn’t want you to cry at work.” Sure enough, when I came home and read the report, tears came to my eyes. A small success, but a big piece of hope.



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