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Photo Release -- New Mobile App Helps Those With Autism and Other Speech Disorders Communicate Using Pictures and a Speech-Generating Device

NEWARK, Del., March 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pyramid Educational Consultants – worldwide specialists in autism and other developmental disabilities and the developers of the Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®) – announces the launch of its new mobile app, PECS IV+.

PECS IV+ app helps child learn to communicate using pictures and a Speech-Generating Device


A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=31457

Created in 1985 by Andy Bondy, Ph.D., and Lori Frost, M.S., CCC/SLP, founders of Pyramid Educational Consultants, PECS is a unique communication intervention program that teaches individuals with limited or no speaking abilities to communicate by forming sentence structures with pictures. Most people who follow the PECS protocol are able to communicate effectively using pictures within three to nine months.

The PECS IV+ app replicates the appearance of traditional PECS communication books, providing students with a seamless transition from a conventional to digital learning environment. For individuals who are not yet speaking, its customizable in-app voice feature allows them to communicate using their iPad® or iPad mini™ as a Speech-Generating Device.

"PECS IV+ is an exciting addition to the PECS teaching method for those ready to try a Speech-Generating Device or those who are already using one," according to Dr. Bondy, president and co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc. "Signs of readiness for PECS IV+ include demonstrating a clear ability to socialize and discriminate pictures, as well as form picture sentences with the traditional PECS protocol."

Jane Bentley, a speech and language specialist at Queensmill School, is one of the early adopters of the PECS IV+ app who is already seeing the positive difference that it's having on her students. "The PECS IV+ app is a great addition to the communication supports we can offer in our school," she says. "Most students who are using the app have transitioned quite easily from their PECS communication books to the iPad format. I've noticed an improvement in their confidence when communicating using the iPad approach and they really enjoy making it speak their sentence strip. Compared with an alternative speech device, training times for staff have also been noticeably shorter, because the app is so similar to the PECS book approach they are already familiar with."

Key features of the PECS IV+ app include:

  • Up to 1,000 images to choose from in the PECS photo library, with the additional ability to upload new images from the web, or taken with an iPad or iPad mini camera
  • Touch-screen ability to rearrange pictures on a Sentence Strip without having to delete or reconstruct the message
  • Time-delay element specifically designed to facilitate speech development
  • Picture library languages available in English, Spanish, Japanese, French, German and Greek

About Pyramid Educational Consultants

Pyramid Educational Consultants is a consortium of trained professionals who provide consulting services and products for educators and parents of children and adults with autism and related disabilities. The company also offers unique opportunities and products that focus on initiating communication and the design of effective educational environments.

About the Picture Exchange Communication® System (PECS®)

The Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®), developed by Pyramid Educational Consultants' founders, Andy Bondy, Ph.D., and Lori Frost, M.S., CCC/SLP, provides children and adults with autism who have little or no communication abilities, a means of communicating non-verbally with pictures.

PECS begins by teaching an individual to give a desired picture to a "communicative partner," who immediately honors the exchange as a request. Once this step is mastered, the system teaches individuals to distinguish pictures and put them together in sentences. In the more advanced phases, students are taught to answer questions and comment.

Most learners become effective communicators using the PECS protocol within three to nine months. PECS has been successful with individuals of all ages demonstrating a variety of communicative, cognitive and physical difficulties.

CONTACT: Media contact: Rachel Neppes Buchanan Public Relations LLC (610) 649-9292 rachel@buchananpr.com

Source:Pyramid Education Consultants