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How To Make Your Own PECS!

The other night I made my own PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) for Dylan!
There are several stages of PECS, for the moment Dylan is on stage one as he has just started using them! PECS is a form of communication that is used with lots of children on the autistic spectrum but can be used with other children too.It is where they learn to relate pictures to the items that they want.

I have seen lots of people who make these online and charge a fee for doing it then send them to you, I was very tempted to do this until I thought about how often I would need to order new ones as he got new interests, foods he likes etc. So I decided to have a crack at making my own and it really wasn’t that difficult! Took a little time to get all the things together and work it all out, but I did and I must say I’m pretty proud of myself with how they turned out =D So I am going to show you how I did it and what I used so you can make your own too! If you need any extra help/advice etc drop me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help! =D

I already had a printer, which is the Epson Expression Home 322. I have had it for a while though so you may be better sourcing your own printer! Mine isn’t a very fancy printer but does all that I need and was a very friendly price! I then sourced a Laminator (Amazon.. my favorite place for finding everything I need/ want ;]) it wasn’t a fancy all dancing one, just one with good reviews and could do exactly what I wanted! (Click here to view it) Along with this I also ordered 100 Laminator pouches.. I’m not entirely sure why I ordered 100.. but when I see a good deal I can’t resist! ;] (Find them here) I then needed a paper-cutter as I wanted all the edges to be straight and nice! (This one!) and the last thing I ordered online was some Velcro! (Here) You will also need some paper and few bits of thicker paper too! =]

Now, I am going to try to do this in a step by step stages so it is easy and clear to follow! =] I’ll try and not waffle as we know I do get carried away sometimes! πŸ˜€

  1. To start I made lists of what I wanted to make PECS on. I started off by just doing two, Snacks and TV Programs then thought of nine of each that Dylan liked and wrote them down!
  2. Next I searched online for clear and simple versions of these images! I found when I searched to put the words “White Background” after whatever I was searching as it means they won’t get distracted by looking at the whole picture
  3. I then made a folder on my laptop for each PECS board and save the nine images of each topic into the correct folders
  4. After finding the nine images I then went into the folder and selected them all. You do this by left clicking once on the first image then holding shift and left clicking again on the last picture
  5. When they were all selected I then right clicked on the images and selected the option print, which opened a pop up.
  6. When in the pop up I scrolled down the side of it which gives you the options of how to print the pictures until I got to one called Wallet. This meant that all the pictures could be printed off on one sheet of paper and would all be the same size!
  7. Then I used the paper-cutter to cut them all out. This took a while for me as I liked to make sure they were all exactly the same size! Very simple to do though with the paper cutter recommended above as it has a built-in ruler! =D
  8. I then put them into a laminating sheet with a good distance between them so that they would all seal correctly and wouldn’t peel once laminated.
  9. Once the PECS images were done I left them to cool while I laminated the thicker paper that I would be using for the background!
  10. I then cut out the images again, making sure I didn’t go to close to the image as I didn’t want the laminate to peel off them!
  11. Next I stuck 6 of the Velcro dots onto the piece of thick paper all evenly spaced of course ;]
  12. In the middle of each of the PECS images I then stuck the other side of the velcro dots on. (I know I said nine but have only put six on the page, this is so that you can change them about, or remove some and put the other ones on when things aren’t available!)
  13. Admire your work and feel very pleased with yourself! You have just made some PECS for your child which will greatly improve communication and hopefully make meltdowns less often as your child has a way of telling you what they want when they get used to the PECS =D

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These are the ones that I did,and I would love to see the ones you have done! Especially if this step by step has helped you! =D
I wish you all the luck on your PECS journey! =]
Also remember if you have any questions on how to do this etc, Just ask! I’m more than happy to help!

WeeOhana xx

3

The Ark Open Farm

We are very lucky to have a wonderful little farm just up the road from us, our flaw ithough is that we really don’t take advantage of it all too much.. and with Dylan I am always nervous of going there in-case as soon as he gets there he loses it, but our recent trip there proved to us, that we really have to go more! Especially seeing as this trip had to be cut short when he fell into a puddle and wasn’t too keen on his trousers being all wet and sticking to him! Before this happened though we were having a wonderful fun, so I thought I would share it with you =]

When we woke up it was a rather nice day, well it was cold but not windy or raining so that is always a big bonus here! My hubby was also off work, so he took little miss into school and came home and I told him of the plans for the day. We got our little monkey man all ready and headed off, I was slightly worried that as soon as we got there he wouldn’t be too happy as the smells etc are all different and I was holding my breath with my fingers crossed too that it wouldn’t be busy. It wasn’t busy and as soon as we got there we were greeted by a lovely and friendly dog. Dylan loves dogs so he was settled straight away, though he did want to just stay with the dog but with a little persuasion we got him to go off exploring everything else!

A lovely young lad came up to us when we were looking at the cows and asked us if he would like to see a baby chick.. I was a little apprehensive as we all know how rough kids can be, and just how delicate chicks are! The young lad held the chick for Dylan too see, and he loved stroking the chick and just staring at it! We were made to feel in no rush and the lad chatted away to us about the chicks while Dylan happily was stoking and staring at the chick! When he started to get a little grabby he put him back in with the other chicks and went on his way. I think Dylan would have stayed there all day just watching them walk about, he sat on my knee and was so happy just watching them all walking about, eating and having a little drink!
We then moved on to see the goats, there was some tiny little baby pygmy goats who were very young. They were so cute and kept escaping from there pen for a little walk about! They were just adorable, though my little man didn’t have much interest in them I would have happily have taken one home.. though I’m pretty sure the hubby wouldn’t have been too impressed! πŸ˜›

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We then went into the barn where they have a range of animals! Some more goats, sheep, lambs, alpacas (I think!), reindeer and some bunnies! The young lad from earlier was there and happily got out a rabbit for him to see, and he loved stroking the rabbit.. though quickly found its ears and like most, thought these looked great to pull.. so the bunny went back in, away from his grabby hands!
Dylan then proceeded to run up and down the barn (he loves big spaces to run and walk about!) until he spotted a sheep! It was love at first site! He stood by the lamb stoking it, smiling and laughing, it was simply wonderful to see him to happy and engaging with something!

After playing with the sheep he then spotted a cow in the barn! (Plastic) He swiftly took a seat on the little stool and started to try and milk the cow, it was wonderful as he was very hands on, didn’t mind the water on his hands and was having so much fun! With Dylan we have a real problem with water and bath times so it was simply wonderful for him to be having some fun with water and not having a care in the world when it got on his hands or wellies!

We then headed off outside to have a play in the park and too see the other animals outside.. completely unlike how his sister would have been Dylan walked straight through the park without even a second look and was straight down to look at the ducks and swans in the little lake they have there! It has a lovely little wooden and very safe walkway out to it and you can stand on this and watch the birds, after doing this for a while we headed back out to continue on our travels!

He found a puddle, a muddy puddle and he wanted to jump in it! There wasn’t a chance I was going to stop him from doing this because as said before water is one of his least favorite things! He splashed about in it for a while and then we carried on to see the owls, peacocks and the other birds they have outside!

 
We also headed into a wonderful little wooden Noahs Ark they have which had a giant connect four in! He played with this for a long time with his daddy, getting picked up to slot one in (working on his depth perception & engaging by going to daddy to get lifted to put the token in!). They had lots of fun doing this, everyone was all smiles and laughing! =]

We headed onward to the forest walk.. or we attempted too. Dylan found another muddy puddle and was jumping in this, but then stopped to have a look about and his welly got stuck resulting in him falling backwards and landing bum first in this lovely muddy puddle! I knew it was going to happen but just wasn’t quick enough to stop it happening! Bad mummy >.<

We then had to head home as he wasn’t a happy bunny having a wet and muddy bum, though I’m thinking he secretly planned it so we have to go back another day to see the animals again ;]

All in all it was a fantastic day out! Dylan felt lots of new textures, had fun with water, met new animals, got lots of fresh air and had a lovely time with mummy and daddy! I’m now convinced Dylan should be a farmer and I need to try and get out to lots of places with animals, as he really came out of his shell, was making vocal noises, engaging with us and the animals, accepted a person he hadn’t ever met before, smelling lots of new smells and feeling things he hadn’t felt before!

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We will be back soon and I look forward to our next trip to The Ark Open Farm!
If you are in the area I really do recommenced a visit!

WeeOhana x

5

Sensory Pasta Play!

This morning we woke up to a cold and wet day! Horrible, especially when I have two little ones to entertain as school is out for half term!
I was trying to think on my toes of what to do with them that was a little different to the usual coloring or toys that we have! I decided on something sensory to try out, hoping that if my little man didn’t just dive in he would copy his sister and at least give it a try!

I hunted in the cupboards to see what I could find and I hunted out some pasta! Some sensory play, that isn’t to messy and wouldn’t stick to my little mans hands which is something he really doesn’t like! I had some swirly pasta and then i broke up some pasta sheets into a bowl.

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I then put the bowl on the floor and picked the pasta up and dropped it into the bowl so that it made a different noise and he came running out to see what was happening and he dove straight in! I was so happy, he was picking it up and running his hands through it all the time while laughing away. I then found a bigger container so that he could move them about a bit more and sit in it if he decided to.

He loved it, he was putting it between his toes, and even decided to take a little nibble on a bit which is truly incredible with his very strict diet and unwillingness to try anything different.

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A very simple sensory play, but it was very effective!
Next time I am out I am going to buy a few bags of different kinds of pasta and color them all different colors, so it is even more visual for him!
After a week or two of playing with the pasta I may start to put a few bits of cooked pasta in at a time, only a very small number at the start and then slowly building. I know slimy things are not his favorite and is the reason he wont eat several foods (ham,pasta,etc) so I am going to do it very slowly and hopefully he wont notice the change and will accept it very well! =]

weeohana xx

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Small things that mean so much!

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To some this wouldn’t seem like such a big thing, to me and my family it was huge and wonderful!

My little girl was sitting eating her breakfast as normal at her little red table in the kitchen, she had decided that she wanted Rice Krispies with no milk on them. Little man was happy pottering about after having his very runny and no lumps porridge, then he walked up to see what his sister was eating. I was just about to move him away before he decided that his sister was better eating her Rice Krispies one by one off the floor but he was watching her eat them very closely so I thought I would wait and see! He then swiftly pushed her off the seat and sat down on it and just as I was about to intervene he picked up the spoon and started eating the Rice Krispies! Eating them like he had done it every morning!

I was so stunned! I was waiting for my little girl to stand up and starting shouting about how he was eating her breakfast and the such, but she stood up and started to clap and shout about how Dylan was eating proper food and was using a spoon! She thought it was just fantastic and ran upstairs to get her daddy to come and see, he came running downstairs and we all cheered and clapped him while telling him he was such a clever boy! He took no notice of us and continued to eat and eat, until the whole bowl was empty! What an incredible day, it was just simply wonderful! I couldn’t believe it, we couldn’t believe it. It has given me great hope for the future and his eating! We have to take it step by step and at his speed and he will hopefully continue to show us like today when he is ready to try something new!

It reminded me of something that I have been saying a lot recently; that every child,every adult has there own goals to meet and there own milestones. If we all met our milestones at the same time, life would be very boring wouldn’t it!
No matter how big or small your goals seem to others for you or you children, they are worth celebrating and being very proud of. Some people wont ever understand, but they aren’t worth worrying about for two seconds.

Today I am celebrating and rejoicing in my little man trying a new food, and using a spoon all out of his own choice! =D What a wonderful day!
What are you celebrating today? =]

WeeOhana x

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10

Q&A for 3 year old!

Bit of a random blog, but thought you guys would enjoy it & those of you with children may get a little giggle doing it with them! If you do decide to do it with your little ones I would love to hear what they say!Β  = ]

There is this thing going about on Facebook, where you ask your child a list of questions and write down what they answer unprompted! My little one.. well poo features a lot.. but generally that’s what she says when she doesn’t have a clue what to say, or is bored.. close to the end I had to ask the questions several times to get an answer! Which I don’t really blame her.. what three year old has a good attention span!

Without any prompting, ask your child these questions and write down exactly what they say. Its a great way to find out what they really think

1. What is something mum always says to you ?
Pee in the toilet

2. What makes you happy?
Pikachu!!

3. How does mum make you laugh?
By tickling me!

4. What makes mum sad?
Daddy talking to her angry

5. What was mum like as a child?
Poopy..

6. How old is mum?
Your two .. like me

7. How tall is mum?
This tall!!!! “Shows a random size*

8. What is mums favorite thing to do?
Play arts and crafts!

9. What does mum do when you’re not around?
Go out with Stephen or nanny

10. What is your mum really good at?
Projects

11. What is mum not really good at?
Poo poo

12. What does your mum do for a job?
Going back to the house

13. What is your mums favorite food?
Liquorice

14. What makes you proud of your mum?
You pooping in the toilet …

15. What do you and your mum do together?
Do arts and crafts

16. How are you and your mum.the same?
I’m playing dress up!!

17. How are you and your mum different?
I’m big … I shrank!

18. How do you know mum loves you?
She says it lots! =D

19. What does mum like most about dad?
Poo Poo

20. Where’s mum favourite place to go?
Sleepy town ..

21. How old was mummy when she had you?
This old!! “Shows size with arms”

Without any prompting, ask your child these questions and write down exactly what they say. Its a great way to find out what they really think

1. What is something mum always says to you ?

2. What makes you happy?

3. How does mum make you laugh?

4. What makes mum sad?

5. What was mum like as a child?

6. How old is mum?

7. How tall is mum?

8. What is mums favourite thing to do ?

9. What does mum do when you’re not around?

10. What is your mum really good at?

11. What is mum not really good at?

12. What does your mum do for a job?

13. What is your mums favourite food?

14. What makes you proud of your mum?

15. What do you and your mum do together ?

16. How are you and your mum.the same?

17. How are you and your mum different?

18. How do you know mum loves you?

19. What does mum like most about dad?

20. Where’s mum favourite place to go?

21. How old was mummy when she had you?

So I hope you enjoyed that little insight into my three year olds crazy brain!
Let me know how you get along asking your children! I always find these things funny, with just how innocent and honest they answer!
WeeOhana xx