PECS IV+ App

Type of Assistive Technology: Application/Software

Level of Ability: The child must have access to a phone or tablet that can access the iTunes app store and headphones. The user must be able to understand pictures as symbols and their corresponding meaning or be able to read the cards. The child must also have fine motor control to apply pressure to the screen in order to control the application.

How It Works: Cards with symbols and words are shown on the screen in a very similar fashion to a picture exchange communication system (PECS) binder. The user can go through to find the cards needed to communicate a certain feeling, need, want, etc. There are different pages in the digital PECS binder for different topics. The cards can be arranged and rearranged on the sentence strip at the bottom of the application.

Possible Uses: With this piece of technology, the child or the person they are working with can flip through the digital binder and pull out the pictures. Pages with different topics can be created and added to the digital binder according to the needs of the user. With this piece of technology, the child or the person communicating with the child may point to a card, enabling the child to make choices or communicate understanding.

Notes: This piece of technology is purchased through the iTunes app store. It is easily customized to the child’s needs, can be used in different settings, and is easily used on-the-go. Unlike the PECS binder, the application will not lose its Velcro over time and cards will automatically return to their proper pages.

(PECS IV+ App-Demo)

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Visual for Taking Turns

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Type of Assistive Technology: Low-tech

Level of Ability: The child must be able to understand pictures as symbols or words and their corresponding meaning. The child must also be able to point to or pinch the clothespin that they need to move or indicate.

How It Works: Images are glued to a paint stick and names and pictures are glued to clothespins that can be moved along the paint stick.

Possible Uses: This piece of technology can be very helpful in showing who’s supposed to have a turn and who is up next for a turn. It can be great in the classroom for activities or even at home. It can help to reduce frustration by giving a visual of what is happening now, what is happening next, and gives personal reference to know when it is an individual’s turn.

Notes: This piece of technology is easily homemade. It is easily customized to the child’s needs, can be used in different settings, and is easily used on-the-go. It can use real pictures of the children involved or use cartoon children.

Choice Display Boards

Type of Assistive Technology: Low-tech

Level of Ability: The child must be able to understand pictures as symbols or words and their corresponding meaning. The child must also be able to handle the cards, words, or pictures or have somebody who can point to the cards in order to select objects and affirm meaning.

How It Works: Cards with symbols and words are printed, laminated, and attached with nylon loop fabric to sides of the trifolds. The user can go through to find the cards needed to communicate a certain feeling, need, want, etc.

Possible Uses: With this piece of technology, the child or the person they are working with can pull out pictures or words that they would like to use. With this piece of technology, the child or the person communicating with the child may point to a picture or word, enabling the child to make choices or communicate understanding.

Notes: This piece of technology is easily customized to the child’s needs, can be used in different settings, and is easily used on-the-go. It is particularly great for home and classroom use.

Magnetic Language Board

Type of Assistive Technology: Low-tech

Level of Ability: The child should be able to hold and use a writing utensil or hold and maneuver magnetic numbers and letters.

How It Works: Magnetic letters and numbers can be used on the board to communicate or to practice word building. Some magnetic boards can also be written on with dry erase marker. The ones shown above can be folded up for storage or transportation.

Possible Uses: The person working with the child may use a marker or set of magnetic numbers or letters, then have the child mimic the use of the marker or magnetic characters. With this piece of technology, the person communicating with the child may write or create words and have the child point to their answer, enabling the child to make choices or communicate understanding. Pictures may also be fastened with a magnetic back and used on the board.

Notes: This piece of technology is especially versatile as the means of communication can change from moment to moment and the board can easily be cleaned and reused. This piece of technology is portable and commonly affordable. While similar to a small whiteboard, this should be used specifically used for magnets and limited writing to prevent build up and misuse of the board.

Visual Schedule

Type of Assistive Technology: Low-tech

Level of Ability: The child must be able to understand pictures as symbols or words and their corresponding meaning. The child must also be able to handle the cards or have somebody who can put the cards or arrows in the correct place or order.

How It Works: Cards with symbols and words are printed, laminated, and attached with Velcro to a easily accessible wall mount. The user can go through to find the cards needed to show the process of an activity or convey what they would like to do or where they are on a schedule.

Possible Uses: This piece of technology can be very helpful in reducing frustration throughout a day. By letting the child know on a consistent basis what is going to be done and giving them an opportunity to help build a schedule for the day can significantly reduce frustration. Visual schedules that are fastened with Velcro allow steps that are completed to be put in the proper container to show that that activity is finished.

Notes: This piece of technology can be homemade or purchased. It is easily customized to the child’s needs, can be used in different settings, and is easily used on-the-go. They can be large and fastened to the wall or be small and accompany a picture exchange communication binder.