Axcis October Giveaway: PECS Starter Kit

Each month, Axcis runs a FREE prize draw, offering useful special needs books and resources. For October, we have a PECS Starter Kit to give away to one lucky winner. But what is PECS and why is it so useful when working with SEND children?

Verbal communication can be challenging for many SEND students. Credit Flickr cc

PECS – What is it?

PECS is short for Picture Exchange Communication System. It is intended for use with non verbal individuals who might struggle to use sign language. Often used with children in special needs settings (especially autism), the idea is that a child can give a card with a picture on it to communicate with an adult. To start with, a child might simply exchange a picture of an item he wants. For example, if the child wants an apple, he will give a picture of an apple to the adult who will then give the child an apple.


Use of the PECS system can become more complex and children can progressively use more challenging skills, such as using pictures to construct a sentence or express preferences. This system is used in many different educational approaches, such as SPELL and TEACCH.


What is good about PECS?

PECS has become a popular system for a range of reasons. These include:

  • There is lots of research suggesting that PECS is a positive and effective system
  • It is a simple approach to learn, both for the practitioner and child
  • It is cost effective
  • Not particularly time consuming to implement

However, it should be noted that there is quite a lot of confusion over the correct use of PECS. It is stressed that it should only be implemented by a trained practitioner. For information on official courses, visit the PECS website.

Using PECS while doing supply work

Example of a PECS card: "Apple"

Example of a PECS card: “Apple”

Schools often contact us at Axcis to ask if we have any staff who can use PECS. While full training is preferred, there are not always individuals available who can step in for a day or two of supply work and who have the full accreditation. Schools tell us that a basic understanding of the system is OK, since a senior staff member will oversee the supply TA or Teacher while they cover for absence for a few days. Therefore having a basic knowledge of the system can be useful even if you have not undergone full training. In fact, stepping in to support a student for a few days in this way can help you to decide if you want to complete full training for use of PECS. We have also found this awesome website which provides FREE downloadable PECS cards if you’re keen to get started right away!

Win a PECS Starter Kit in our October Giveaway

Up for grabs in our October Giveaway is a PECS Starter Kit. This kit contains:

1 – Introductory PECS Keyring which includes a random coloured spring keyring to keep the cards safe when out and about.pecs 3

  • Basic introductory cards on a spring keyring
  • 12 PECS (2 blank)
  • Laminated for durability
  • Waterproof
  • Edges are fully rounded for safety

2 – 5 in 1 Keyring (ideal for introducing PECS and visual aids)

  • Board and wallet for PECS attached to a spring keyring
  • This has been made for anyone wanting to trial visual aids, wanting a portable all-in-one PEC Board, and/or anyone unsure which product will work
  • Included: A board with interchangeable board headings, 5 board headings (Toilet Routine, Behaviour, I feel…, I need…, Out and About),
  • 24 PECS cards and a wallet to keep everything safe

How to enter

All you need to do to enter is follow this link and choose your entry option. Entry is FREE and very simple – all you need to do is one of the following (but you must do it through the link):


  1. Check out our Facebook Page
  2. Follow us on Twitter
  3. Subscribe to this blog

All competitions and giveaways are subject to Axcis competition terms and conditions which can be found here.

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