Launch of PECS course
On Monday 3rd October 2022, Dalia Association in collaboration with Autism Superhero Palestine, launched its first Pictures Exchange Communication System (PECS) course. The course consists of 7 sessions, presented by specialist Ishraq Barabira who received an approved training from PECS USA.
The training aims to enrich the mothers of children with autism with all kinds of information about PECS through a thorough course taught by the right people. Each mother will receive a PECS book as well, which includes all the sections needed for their children (4000 pictures) which they can use after the course with their children on a regular, daily basis to help them communicate basic life skills.
A communication language for non-speaking autistic children, who face difficulties with verbal communication. The language is a communication tool that uses pictures. The language consists of 6 educational stages, each stage has its own mechanisms and tools. At the sixth stage, the child is able to communicate a complete sentence through pictures. The importance of PECS often lies in its ability to support communication tools of children with autism until they are able to communicate verbally, and dispense the book at some point. This training is mainly directed at mothers who are new to the PECS language and wish to teach it to their children properly. The functional period of each stage of the course, depending on the capacities of the child, vary from two months to twelve, and it is not allowed to move on to the next educational stage before the child masters the stage before.
A book consisting of 10 sections related to different aspects of life. The child finds 400 photos related to daily life and basic life skills, and was written by experts from PECS USA Organisation in the United States. The books costs $1000.
Due to the high price of the book, and the inability of most families to afford it, Autism Superhero produced local handmade copies using materials from local stationaries, and printed them at local printing houses in Nablus City. What is special about these local copies is that it aligns with daily life and local culture in Palestine, such as traditions, holidays, and national and religious holidays. The process of creating the Palestinian copies lasted several months.
Autism Superhero Palestine is a nonprofit organization. For the past three years, they have worked to support families, mothers, and children. They created many fun and therapeutic events for the kids and engaged kids with autism with other children to promote inclusion, acceptance, and understanding through art, music, and sports. Autism Superhero created training programs for families and children, family support group meetings, field trips, distributed autism awareness posters and brochures in public places, art therapy activities, equine-assisted therapy, and hydrotherapy in the West Bank. They also were able to distribute resources and learning tools especially that children with autism do not go to school and families feel lost and unsure about what to do to help their children.