A Word About Terminology

PECS, PECs, picture cards, PCS – what does it all mean?  Being a newbie to picture card communication and blogging has put me in somewhat of a pickle.  I’m still trying to unwind all the strings of terminology and methodology so I can understand it and write intelligibly about it.  If you’ve read a few of my posts, you may have noticed I jump around from terms like PECs, to picture cards to PCS.  Why?  Honestly, because, number one, I want to make sure I am not infringing on anyone’s trademarks; and secondly, I want to make sure to use a term easily understood by all.  The problem is, picture cards are going by several different names now.  I am going to stick to calling them PECs because that seems to be the term that most people use nowadays.  But just for clarification, here’s what I know about the abbreviations:

PECS refers to the Picture Exchange Communication System developed by Lori Frost and Andy Bondy.  I am currently reading their book, A Picture’s Worth – PECS and other Visual Strategies in Autism.  It is a small book, written clearly and concisely for professionals and parents alike.  It is a treasure in information and technique for visual learning. written by pioneers in pictorial communication.

PECs is the term used for picture exchange cards – the cards you actually make and cut out or make and use on a board.

Picture cards are the same thing as PECs.

PCS are picture exchange symbols, again really the same thing as PECs, but apparently PCS is a trademarked name owned by Boardmaker.  PCS are known to be especially understandable to visual learners due to their simplicity and format.

In searching on the net for information related to visual learning using PECs, PCS, picture cards or PECS, I recommend entering each of these terms into your browser.  This is the best way to assure you will find all of the relevent information.

If you have additional information that would help us understand the differences between the terminology, please comment below.  I’m interested to know if I’m missing anything here.




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