Currently I am gearing up for another Round Robin in my PECS group. I addressed some issues that needed to be discussed among the members before compiling a list of members that are taking part in the exchange and sharing of extra PECS cards.
This issue is the smell of smoke on the cards, the mailing box and the plastic bags containing the cards. For those unfamiliar with the term PECS it means Picture Exchange Communication System. These are laminated color or black and white photos or images of places, events and things that pertain to everyday life and help the nonverbal child communicate their wants and needs to their caregivers, teachers and therapists. The cards are velcroed to another piece of velcro within a notebook for storing and ease of use.
I have noticed in the past when purchasing items on ebay that you need to be specific in your description, especially when stating whether the item comes from a smoke or pet free home. I learned the hard way when several items over the course of many purchases arrived with smoke stench that required the purchased product to be tossed in the garbage to avoid that smell entering the household.
I always include smoke and pet free householdin my listings when I am selling items on ebay. When I created my PECS group and stated the rules for the Round Robin I did not consider the smokers and their shared supply of PECS cards. I did hear back from several members that they could not remove any of the cards offered from the package due to the overpowering scent of smoke.
When receiving supplies at my home I was clearly aware of the smell of smoke on the boxes, plastic bags, notebooks and cards. The reason for sharing cards is for the nonverbal or speech delayed child on the Autism Spectrum who is utilizing the cards. Because the cards are held and touched and sometimes mouthed by the child, it is imperative that the smell not emit any smoke stench.
I thought this issue was important for all parents, caregivers, teachers and therapists to consider when making and sharing PECS cards. If you or a member of your household smokes, please store and make the PECS cards in a neutral room where there is no smell or smoking allowed.
Notebooks might be stored in closets where there is an odor and should be checked to make sure there is no overpowering scent that would upset or impair the child/user of the PECS cards. Sharing is a great way to get supplies for families, teachers and therapists. The bottom line should be clean products for the children to utilize on a daily basis.
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