Letter to Parents

PECS Intensive Programme
Criteria & Funding Information Letter
Dear Parent,
Thank you for your interest in the PECS Intensive Programme, which is planned for this year to
take place during most school holidays.
We hope that this letter gives you an outline of what we are expecting from you as
parents/carers and what you can expect from us at Pyramid Educational Consultants.
We are offering an intensive programme to a small number of children, with a high staff ratio in
order to advance the children to the highest level they are able to achieve. For each child we
develop PECS skill and consider critical communication skills at an individual level. PECS is used
throughout each session at every activity.
We are providing details for you to consider if you wish to apply for a place for your child.
If you are interested and would like us to consider your child for a place please complete
enclosed Application Form and return it as soon as possible with all other items detailed on the
materials checklist below.
Yours sincerely,
Julia Biere-Hoffman
Clinical Director for Pyramid UK
PECS Intensive Programme
This intensive programme is ideal for families seeking intensive communication programming
using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The programme includes an initial
assessment, approximately 2 months before the classroom based sessions, where each
student’s current communicative repertoire will be assessed so that specific needs can be
addressed. This will be either as attendance at the PECS Centre in Brighton or by provision of
requested video of your child. This will be followed by five days intensive work in the classroom.
Each day your child will work intensively for 3 hours, either in the morning or in the afternoon.
The programme is designed for students needing comprehensive and intensive functional
communication intervention. The emphasis will be on teaching children to communicate within
functional routines. After baseline data is collected specific goals for the school will be
developed for each student. There is an expectation for full involvement from parents, both by
attending PECS 2 day training prior to the start of the programme plus 1 parent being present
throughout the daily school based programme, for all 5 sessions.
Initial assessment
A full completed application form, video of your child, and other requested information must
be received by Pyramid Educational Consultants as part of the initial assessment. This will be
followed by contact with the family as required. In a small number of cases it may be necessary
to have more detailed information. Should this be the case either a home visit or attendance at
the PECS centre may be required. Should this be needed an additional charge will be made.
PECS Training
Parental attendance at the PECS 2-day training workshop is a compulsory part of the condition
of your child being accepted into the programme. We have made this stipulation in order to
ensure that the progress made by the child can be sustained after the PECS Intensive
programme. Places can be reserved on the workshop in your area Should you have attended
PECS training within the last 12 months, this part of the criteria can be waived otherwise it is
expected that you will still attend as a refresher,
An additional payment will be required to attend the PECS 2-day training .
Attendance at 2 Day Workshop by Supportive Professional
Following the PECS Intensive programme you will need support to continue with the PECS
programme, it is therefore essential that you are supported. To enable you to do this we would
like you to find someone who is willing and able to take on this role. Suggestions include,
Portage worker, Speech and Language therapist, teacher.
The person you nominate needs to attend the PECS 2 day workshop and pay the appropriate
fee, if they have not already done so.
Classroom based programme
A Pyramid Consultant will manage the PECS Intensive Programme within the classroom. Class
size will not exceed 3 students. We want all children who participate to get the most out of
their experience with us. The main aim of the PECS Intensive programme will be to develop
functional communication rather than teach to the National Curriculum. A further goal will be
to empower parents by increasing their skills to implement PECS with their child accurately and
at a high level and across the day. Also to increase the likelihood that PECS skills gained by the
children will be maintained over time by their parents. The school day will be from 9.00 am
until 12.00 noon or 1.30pm. until 4.30pm (Monday to Friday).
During the daily sessions one Parent will be expected to be involved and included, with limited
input from the first day with the full support of a Consultant from Pyramid , parents will then to
take on an increasing role over the course of the week. At the end of each session, the child will
be allowed to play freely for 10-15 minutes to enable staff and parents to discuss the session
and set tasks to be carried out at home. The focus of the brief meetings will be on the specific
goals chosen for each student.
If your child does not fit the criteria, it may be possible to provide an individualised
programme for them in the home. If you would like further information please contact us.
Consultants from Pyramid will be organising and operating the programme.
This PECS Intensive Programme is to be held at The PECS Centre, First Floor, Queens Park Villa,
30 West Drive, Brighton, Sussex BN2 0QW, which is within the Queens Park area of Brighton. It
is expected those attending must be able to make their own arrangements to bring their child
to the PECS Intensive Programme each day. So you are aware the PECS Centre is on the first
floor, with no lift access – only stairs. Please let us know if you or your child would have a
problem with this.
Criteria for Attendance
Children that attend the PECS Intensive programme will be aged between 3 and 7 years of age.
That is over 3 and under 8 at the time of the programme.
If your child does not fit the criteria, it may be possible to provide an individualised
programme for them at home. If you would like further information please contact us.
The PECS Intensive programme is open to children with Autism and/or significant
communication difficulties. We regret that we may not be able to include any children with
significant behaviour difficulties in view of the short time frame of this intensive
programme. If this is the case we will contact you to discuss this further.
The PECS Intensive programme will operate during school holidays. (Total 5 days) from 9.00
a.m. to 12 noon or 1.30 pm to 4.30 p.m. each day (Monday – Friday). All successful applicants
will be offered a place during the next available holiday unless a specific request is made at the
time of booking a place.
If your child has a communication book that they are currently using we would like to have a list
of the items they are using so that we can make symbols of those items (a photocopy of the
existing communication book will suffice). We are planning to use pictures mainly from PICS for
PECS, produced by Pyramid. Communication Tools including Communication Books will be
provided for each child as required and will be given to the child at the end of the PECS
Intensive programme.
Health Issues
If your child is taking medication during the day, the family should arrange to administer the
medication at the appropriate time(s). We will not have a nurse available to deliver
medication. Medical emergencies during the PECS Intensive programme will be handled by
parents or through the local accident and emergency department. We will need emergency
contact information for each family during the days of this PECS Intensive Programme. We
would however like to know of any health issues that may impact on your child and their
Your child’s toilet training status will not affect his/her acceptance. We will not toilet-train
students during the programme. Please be prepared to bring in a supply of nappies/pull-ups
and baby wipes (if appropriate) plus at least one full change of clothing. Please also let us know
whether your child is able to use the toilet and if they use any particular method of letting you
know they wish to go to the toilet. Parents will be expected to carry out toileting whenever
There must be a commitment from parents that their child will attend the PECS Intensive
programme on each day and continue to work to develop their child’s communication following
attendance at the programme.
Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. We will contact you with final
acceptance and waiting list decisions within 4 weeks of receipt of application. This deadline will
allow enough time for families attending PECS Intensive programme to organise travel and
make all other necessary arrangements. Pyramid Educational Consultants, UK Ltd. will not be
responsible for travel/accommodation/or other arrangements necessary for the PECS Intensive
Application form
If you are interested in sending your child, please complete application form along with other
items listed on the materials checklist (see application form).
Short Video
The 15-20 minute video should show your child working with either you or teachers from
school and working with PECS if they are currently using PECS. A separate information sheet is
provided giving details of what is required.
Further details
Julia Biere-Hoffman is the PECS Consultant and Supervisor responsible for this programme will
be delighted to discuss any questions you may have: 01273 609555 or [email protected]
Fees & Terms
The cost for each child attending will be £1560.00 inc. VAT
The fee includes: An initial assessment to set a baseline for the child.
 A place for one child on the PECS Intensive 5 day programme.
 PECS Intensive programme, as outlined, from 9.00am – 12.00 noon or 1.30 pm – 4.30
pm every day Monday to Friday.
 Practical Parent training during the school based sessions to build on their current skills
and develop functional communication for their child.
 A brief PECS development report for each child at the end of the PECS Intensive
Programme. This can be shared with your child’s school and supportive
professional. The report will summarise progress made and list appropriate future goals
to be worked on.
Once your child’s place on the PECS Intensive programme has been confirmed, you will be sent
an invoice. The Fee will be payable before the start of the PECS Intensive programme.
We accept:
Credit cards, cheques, cash and are able to invoice a third party where an Official Purchase
order is supplied.
The Client has 14 days in which to cancel the contract after it has been signed and returned to
Pyramid Educational Consultants. This 14 day period is considered the cancellation or ‘cooling
off’ period, whereby no cancellation fees will apply.
If the client cancels, for any reason, outside of the cooling off period, the client is liable for the
entire service fee and any costs incurred (such as airline/train tickets) as of the date of
cancellation. If Pyramid is able to re-book the date(s) with another client and re-use airline
tickets, hotel reservations, etc. the cancelling client will be liable only for any difference in
service fees and any costs that could not be transferred to the new client. Alternately, if the
client needs to postpone a scheduled workshop, the client will be liable for any additional
costs that Pyramid Educational Consultants incur in making adjustments to travel and
accommodation arrangements that have already been booked/paid for in advance in relation
to the scheduled workshop.
Should Pyramid Educational Consultants UK Ltd, for any reason cancel the planned Programme,
the client will receive a full refund of any monies paid to Pyramid prior to the date of the
workshop. In such events we will endeavour to try to schedule an alternative date.
Pyramid Educational Trust (PET) can provide some funding opportunities. The Trust has limited
funds so there will be an expectation for every family to provide part of the payment. PET is a
registered charity and can provide small grants to families. They are currently attracting funding
for this purpose. Should you wish to have help with the finances, it will be necessary for you to
make an independent application for this. To contact PET please enclose a letter requesting
support with your application, this will then be passed to the Trustees or see their website
www.pyramideducationaltrust.org Decisions as to funding can only be made at the Trust
meetings held 3 or 4 times per year.
It may be possible for you to apply independently to organisations for part or full funding for
your own child/children. It may be beneficial for you to set up a trust fund for your child as it is
far easier to attract funds to a trust fund, each parent should take some legal advice about this,
as there are many implications to consider.
There are many B&B’s in the streets close to our office in the Kemp Town area, these are all
within a short walk to our office.
=&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai= they may also do a discount for a block booking, always
worth asking.
The Grapevine Hotel in Central Brighton http://grapevinewebsite.co.uk/ both are within
walking distance to the office. Not sure if this will meet your needs.
Brighton University summer accommodation:
http://www.brighton.ac.uk/conferences/summer/campuses/phoenix.php?PageId=416 the
Phoenix site is about a 20 minute walk to our office. There are a few buses from there too.
The Varley site :
http://www.brighton.ac.uk/conferences/summer/campuses/varley.php?PageId=417 this is
about a 20-30 minute bus journey to our office.
There is a campsite in Brighton, as we have had family stay there before:
http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/details.asp?revid=2756 this is about a 10-15 minute bus
ride from our office.
There is always to option if you drive down to stay a little outside the town centre.
Travelodge Brighton Hotel
165-167 Preston Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 6AU Tel: 0871 984 6017
They have limited parking at the hotel, and is on a first come first served basis (but if you
contact the hotel they maybe able to hold you a space?) and it is £5 per day, so for 5 days it will
be £25. Room rates are approx £55 for a double per night, you may get a deal online?
The hotel is a moment’s walk from the bus stops for central Brighton.
Your local (in Brighton) travel costs we estimate to be approx £30 – this includes bus saver
ticket which allows you to hop on hop off the bus all day. You may have to pay £1 per journey
for your child if they are over 5, if under 5 they travel free.
If you decide to catch a train instead of driving, the closest station to the hotel is Preston Park,
you can then either walk to the hotel, which is about a 15 minute walk or you can get a taxi.
There is not a taxi rank at this station, but you can order one by calling 01273 204060 (this is a
licensed taxi company) or you can get the train to Brighton station and there is a taxi rank
there. The fare should be around £7.
Applications cannot be considered until all the relevant information has been
Submit all materials together as soon as possible.
Fully completed Application Form & photo of child
Video and Photograph permission form
A list of your child’s PECS pictures and details of the picture
system used.
A photocopy of the pages of your child’s communication book (if
Completed form for Supportive Professional
Completed PECS training Application form or details of previous
attendance (include photocopy of PECS Training Certificate)
Video information form
15 – 20 minute video (Essential)
(to be used for screening/baseline purposes only and will not be
Funding application to the trust (tick if appropriate)
Name of child
Preferred date of PECS Intensive Programme
PECS Intensive Programme
PECS CENTRE, First Floor, Queens Park Villa, 30 West Drive,
Brighton BN2 0QW
Application Form
Each day your child will work intensively for 3 hours, either in the morning or in the afternoon.
There is an expectation for full involvement from parents, both by attending PECS 2 day training
(in advance of acceptance on the programme) plus 1 parent being present throughout the daily
school based programme, for all 5 sessions.
Name of Child :
Tel no. (Home)
Date of Birth:
Siblings’ Names/ages:
Parents’ Names:
Medical Diagnosis:
Regular Medication being taken by child:
Current Educational Placement:
If school based: Name of school/organisation
Telephone number:
Name of head teacher:
Local Education Authority:
Does child attend school placement in area of residence:
If home based:
Name of Person/Organisation Supervising Home Program:
Telephone number:
Case Manager:
I wish my child to be considered for the PECS Intensive programme and on acceptance I
confirm that we will participate fully as requested.
I understand the PECS Centre is located on the first floor and all those attending are able
to access the Centre using the stairs
Relationship to child______________________________________________________________
EDUCATIONAL HISTORY (please list name/address and dates of all schools/programmes
Use back of form if necessary: (most recent first)
Therapy history: (Please list type/dates of any therapies, other than those received in school,
and name/address of therapist/agency. Use back of form if necessary
Is your child toilet trained? If so, how do you know he/she needs the toilet?
Is there anything else you would like us to know about your child?
Describe the primary reason your child uses PECS: ________________
What was the most difficult phase for your child to acquire: ________
Why? ___________________________________________________
Describe any problems your child had/has using PECS: _____________
Does your child speak while using PECS?
yes no
What would you like the Pyramid Consultant to do with your child and his/her PECS?
PECS Intensive Programme
Consent for taking photographs and Videotaping
I give permission for representatives of Pyramid Educational Consultants UK Ltd to
videotape and /or take photographs of my son/daughter whilst participating in the PECS
Intensive Programme
I further give permission for Pyramid Educational Consultants UK Ltd to maintain
possession of the photographs, negatives and videotape and to use it for publicity and training
I understand that no identifying information will be provided to anyone viewing the
Videotape or photographs except for my child’s first name.
Full name of child ________________________________________________________
(signature of parent/carer)
PECS Intensive Programme
Vocabulary Selection Worksheet
Please list the following in order of preference (list most favourite items first).
Limit each section to the 5-7 most preferred items.
Things your child/student likes to
Things your child/student likes to
Activities your child/student likes
(watching TV, listening to music,
spinning, sitting in a special chair)
Toys your child/student enjoys
Social games your child/student likes
(peek - a - boo, chase, tickle)
What your child/student chooses to
do during “free time.”
People your child/student
recognises and with whom he enjoys
spending time.
Things/activities your child/student
actively avoids, dislikes, tantrums
over, etc.
PECS Intensive Programme
Supportive Professional form
Child’s Name
is hoping to be included in the PECS Intensive Programme. As part of the application it is
necessary for parents to organise some support from a professional working with their child.
This form needs to be returned by the parent with their application.
It is important that the person chosen has attended a PECS 2 day training workshop prior to
attendance of the PECS Intensive Programme. Normal fees apply.
It is anticipated that this support should be by contact with the family at least twice a month
following the event to help with continued development.
I you are able to help the family with this and commit yourself to the necessary support please
complete the following details.
Name of Professional
Job Title
Address for Correspondence
PECS 2 day workshop attended*:
I have booked to attend the workshop*
Signature of Professional
PECS Intensive Programme
PECS 2 Day training
Attendance at PECS 2 day training is a compulsory part of attendance at the PECS Intensive
Programme. Should you have attended PECS training within the last 12 months, this part of the
criteria can be waived otherwise it is expected that you will still attend as a refresher.
Details of training dates and venues are available on our website www.pecs.com or contact the
Pyramid office.
An additional payment will be required to attend the PECS 2-day training.
Please confirm the following:
Tick if
I have already attended PECS 2 day training
Please supply copy of your certificate
I need to attend PECS 2 day training
Please complete application form supplied
Please contact me to discuss this further
PECS Intensive Programme
PECS details
Student’s Name
Name of Person Completing
This form
Please tick the box which best matches your answer to each question
How confident are you in
using the Picture Exchange
Communication System with
your child?
How many PECS exchanges
does your child make a day?
What is the highest Phase of
PECS your child is using?
Not Very
Not at all
than 5
5 – 10
10 - 30
30 - 50
Over 50
Phase I
Exchanging a
single picture
Phase II
Distance and
Phase III
Such as size, shape
and colour
Phase V
Answering the
question “What
do you want?
Phase VI
Phase IV
building using
“I want”
How many symbols are in
your child’s communication
Less than
10 – 30
30 – 50
Over 50
How many different symbols
does your child use each
Less than
10 – 30
30 – 50
Over 50
Other (when?)
Daily routines i.e. hand washing
Or getting dressed
Activities at home such a TV
Playground or Garden / Park
Classroom Activities
Free play
Structured PECS session (how many per
Please tick ALL that apply
Mealtime or Snacktime
Where is PECS used at
Not Very
Other (brief description)
Increased initiation
Approaches peers more
Approaches adults more
How effective is PECS in
helping your child developing
functional communication
Increased vocalizations
Please tick ALL that apply
General awareness
Since starting PECS have you
noticed any changes in any of
these areas?
Not at all
Thank you for your help.
Please return this form, with all other requested information to:
Julia Biere-Hoffman
Clinical Director for Pyramid UK
Pyramid Educational Consultants UK
First Floor
Queens Park Villa
30 West Drive
Video information requested
Please provide the following details on video (VHS or DVD format only please)
The 15-20 minute video should include:
Tick if
Information requested
Working with you or teachers from school doing a familiar activity
Using PECS at current level if appropriate
Sitting at the table doing an activity of your choice (3 minutes)
Essential information
Look at a book together (2 minutes)
Essential information
An example of negative behaviour and how you deal with it.
Please give brief written details of video supplied:
Name of child ………………………………………………………………………
Video information ……………
Public Posting Information
Name of Child
Age & D.O.B
Parents Name Mum
Other attendee
Photo of Child
Toilet Trained
Yes / No