The students of SEGi College Penang’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education were recently given the opportunity to learn some techniques in special needs education during their Inclusion in Early Childhood lessons, specifically that of creating picture exchange communication system (PECS) boards. This system allows the students to understand better children with disabilities and how to best provide for their learning needs.
The increase in learning and developmental disabilities among young children has led to greater concern by all parties, not the least of whom are early-childhood educators. Caring for a child with disabilities is never an easy task for parents or teachers. Early-childhood educators are thus encouraged to gain knowledge and skills in special education to better cater to the increasing number of children with special needs.
The PECS board is a vital tool for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and non-verbal children to convey their needs and ideas through picture communication, allowing the communication of requests, choices, and notifications by teachers of instructions, tasks and activities. Significantly, this aid is constructively employed in the special-education discipline.
Instead of only classroom teaching, SEGi College provides continuous hands-on activities so that students are better able to retain the knowledge they have gained and transfer it later in real-world contexts. As future educators of children, learning new skills, such as developing PECS boards, will prepare SEGi’s early-childhood students to provide for the needs of young children, including those with special needs.