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Storage/velcro/laminating Queens! - Need some ideas for storing symbols/pictures to use for visual timetables etc.

(27 Posts)
coppertop Sun 29-May-05 13:11:04

Erm.... well that's about it really. When ds1 used visual timetables last year I only needed a few symbols so it wasn't too much of a pain to dig them out when I needed to. With ds2 I seem to have a much bigger collection of widgit symbols and pictures. How do you all keep yours so that you can find them quickly (ooer)? Do you use boards, folders etc? I need some ideas!

happycat Sun 29-May-05 13:14:50

what is a visual time table coopertop sorry to be nosey.DS1 has dyslexia I have heard something like this mentioned but don't have a clue what they are or what to do .Am i barking up the wrong tree here?I don't post alot now so don't know your history

coppertop Sun 29-May-05 13:21:05

Hi Happycat.

A visual timetable is basically about using pictures to show what is going to happen next rather than relying on the child being able to concentrate on or understand verbal explanations. We use a simple strip of card with room to fit 2 pictures on it, eg a symbol for "breakfast" and then one for "get dressed". They can also be used to show things like the order in which to get dressed, eg a picture of pants, then vest, then T-shirt etc to break the task down into simple stages.

happycat Sun 29-May-05 13:28:54

Thanks coopertop

It does sound a little like i had imagined thank you.I need to make some Thank you.

mizmiz Sun 29-May-05 13:53:53

Coppertop,I find that unless symbols are easily located,a system fails,so have thought long and hard about this one with the families and classrooms I work in.

What I do is laminate millions of pieces of A4 sized card and put them in a file. Then put about 3 (or 4) strips of velcro down each piece of cardboard on both sides. In this way,one piece of A4 sized card holds about 30 pictures. (Laminating is to strengthen them obviously)

You can colour code the pages or even put file dividers in. This works very well for us as you can flip through the pages and find what you nedd very quickly. A quick tidy and note of additions and replacements can also then be done at the end of each day. HTH.

coppertop Sun 29-May-05 16:18:49

Mizmiz - That sounds like the kind of thing I need. I'm supposed to be using symbols when possible but all too often by the time I've rummaged through the symbols to find the one I need it's too late.

Jimjams Sun 29-May-05 16:52:14

I went to staples and bought a pile of their tiny plastic pouches (pence each)/ labelled each one A/B C/D etc then sorted PECS accordingly (I have thousands of the damn things so the file system wasn't wprking for me). Staples also sell "really useful boxes" and the second smallest exactly fits the pouches so they stand up (and then a lid goes ontop)

Jimjams Sun 29-May-05 16:53:03

I've alsos started wearing a PECs apron. I look a complete pratt but means I can use countdown buttons etc when needed.

mizmiz Sun 29-May-05 17:28:02

Exactly coppertop-the moment has gone!
Wow jimjams,you are obviously masters of PECS. How often and in what context are you using? I would love it if 'my' families and schools used this many!
Am very tempted by the PECS apron you remember to take it off when you're doing other stuff or is it a permanent accessory?

Davros Sun 29-May-05 18:22:05

Depending on the size of your PECs, I use those plastic pocket things for 35m slides, you can get them from photo shops or Viking, things can fall out if you tip the file up though. I also use the laminated sheets with velcro in a file but they tend to get stuck together and they take longer to make than the above.
Mmmmm, feel a PECs apron order coming on

coppertop Sun 29-May-05 18:26:02

I'm intrigued by the idea of a PECS apron. I don't think I could justify getting one but I've never heard of them before. What are they like?

I suppose really I should have something to store them in at home and maybe a lighter folder/set of cards that I can carry around with me.

Jimjams Sun 29-May-05 18:49:43

Weird - they're not on their resources page but the bloke on this page is wearing one. Bet you're all jealous now. I bought it at the last workshop I went to (pecs throughout the day).

Mizmiz- ds1 has his book whcih goes between school and home (he's pretty much completely non-verbal) for his requests. In my apron I have adult directions- so a sentence strip, a piccy of him, some countdown buttons (actually cats), wait symbols, finished symbols (used that today when he wouldn't get out of mum's car, countdown cats and a finished symbol- he got out completely calmy at the end (I was stunned- I've only started wearing the apron in the last few days).

There' s a pecs conference in Nov in London. We're going- early bird prices (10% off) if you book before 1 June. Davros? You up for it? I've arranged the babysitter- dh is going as well (we know how to enjoy ourselves ) It's a Friday and Saturday......

Davros Sun 29-May-05 19:52:42

Aaah, I was going to ask if you mean the PECs Across the Day one (which I see you've been to) or the International Conference? I assume the Conference now as you've been to the other one already. I am very interested in going, it sounds really good, have you booked? Bet they'll sell aprons there we could buy them up and do a roaring trade on MN!

mizmiz Sun 29-May-05 19:59:45

'countdown buttons (actually cats)' intrigued!?
Not sure what you tell!
Also what you say about him being calm,the 'finished' symbol and only using the apron in the last few days!!
Not sure what you mean-again,if you have the energy....
Sounds inspirational.

Jimjams Sun 29-May-05 20:13:20

f* I typed out a long explanation of countdown buttons and then lost it. Will do it later.

haven't booked yet davros, but will before tuesday as the price goes up on Wednesday.,

Davros Sun 29-May-05 20:21:02

Urgh! I put form in my trust brought forward file for some months hence, will dig it out again.

Jimjams Sun 29-May-05 21:07:39

ok try again. Countdown buttons are used at school- just to visually represent time I guess. They use threading buttons with velcro on the back. I use cat tokens from pyramid just because that's what we happened to have.

So to tell him that something is finishing you put 3 countdown buttons on a sentence strip followed by the finished symbol. Then you get his finger (at school they would whisk screen around him if inside) and say "<<name>> one countdown button, two countdown buttons, three countdown buttons then finished" pointing to each one with his finger, then you remove one countdown button and repeat the whole thing with 2 then 1. It works

And I had to interrupt that to go out in the street (with my PECS aproion and do all that before we could get him to bed (added a bed symbol after finished- very obsessive about the street at the moment).

You can also use these for waiting. So he requests I want whatver, the the sentence strip comes back with wait, the countdown buttons then the icon he's requested,

Now I have the apron I can manage all this soort of stuff as I have the symbols with me.

Jimjams Sun 29-May-05 21:08:04

davros you can do it online!

eidsvold Sun 29-May-05 22:28:50

sorry to hijack thread - any value in something like this with dd1 - not wanting to get too technical. I use makaton(auslan) with her and she understands a lot of it - working on warning for things like bath time bed time etc - not sure she gets the countdown idea - if I did it with something she could see visually - perhaps she would understand the idea.

any thoughts??

Jimjams Sun 29-May-05 23:24:32

Could do- could you try using your fingers to countdown initially, or an egg timer??

PECs is used with children with DS so could be an idea.

eidsvold Mon 30-May-05 05:59:44

i do use fingers when counting as a visual aid for dd1 - also have the swimming teacher do it when she makes dd1 float on her back for the count of five. Might give it a go and let you know how it goes.

Wasn't sure if pecs was used with children with ds.

mizmiz Mon 30-May-05 08:25:18

Eidsvold,I've used PECS with children with DS. In my experience it was most useful in helping to develop their expressive language-allowing them to organise and order what was in their heads (iyswim) but difficult to output.
Generally,there weren't/aren't behavioural issues to such an extent so we didn't need to use other strategies.

We've had a lot of fun using PECS to for example describe what is going on in a picture ('The girl is sitting on a green chair')or to describe what we are wearing ('Mizmiz iz wearing a blue jumper,green skirt and a black hat')
Sort of Derbyshire Language Scheme Activities (are you familiar with this?)but focussing on expression as opposed to comprehension.

Worked brilliantly and really gave expressive language a big push in a way that I haven't seen before. I feel that this is a massively under explored area.

Jimjams Mon 30-May-05 10:25:29

mizmiz can I just hijack and ask what you think of the derbyshire language stuff. Do you think they're any good for children with autism. I have the whole on in under set and I think they're dreadful! Ds1 blanks out as soon as he sees them (line drawings mean very little to him I think). Davros recently sent me a load of photographic on in under stuff and he loves it.

Just wondered as I heard a SALT slagging of the derbyshire stuff for autistic kids recently.

mizmiz Mon 30-May-05 11:44:57

Jimjams,the principle is good and Derbyshire did at least represent a structured approach to building up language skills and it was pretty exciting stuff when it came out. Must say,I would never dream of using it with any of the autistic children I work/worked with-far too mechanical although undoubtedly there are certain groups of children with language impairments that would really enjoy this approach.

Thing that blew my mind about PECS was its instant focus on expression which was contrary to everything conventional about training as a salt which always emphasises comprehension,comprehension,comprehension. It was so exciting to see the huge 'buzz' that succesful expression gave to someone with even minimal comprehension skills.
As I said,it's sort of like Derbyshire but backwards and the child has the satisfaction of building a fairly complex expressive utterance,which is a lot more exciting than merely comprehending. For many people there is no 'buzz' in merely understanding.....'Teddy is sitting on the big chair.'

So bloody what???!!!!!

I've said it before but will say it again-a fantastic and very easy to read book is
'Visual Strategies for Improving Communication'
by Linda A. Hodgdon, an American salt. (Quirk Roberts Publishing)
Brilliant book,full of ideas for anyone with impaired communication. I've just lent it to a friend whose mother has Alzheimer's.

Jimjams Mon 30-May-05 14:18:02

yes that's what I like aabout it as well. I think it makes particular sense in autism where language is learned in chunks as well.

I thought the video they show in the 2 day worshop of the adult with severe autism and challenging behaviour was very moving. 30 odd years and he'd learned one sign he used occasionally and then within one session he was trailing his carer hassling him for crisps. It's got to have improved his quality of life.

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