Picture Exchange Communication System

What is PECS? 
The picture exchange communication system is an way for students with little or nonverbal skills to be able to communicate with others. PECS is defined as an alternative and augmentative communicator (AAC) that uses pictures instead of words Designed to be taught in 6 simple phases.

Highlights about PECS 
The PECS system does not require that the person the user is speaking to understand or be taught how to use the system.  Inexpensive  is a behaviorally-based intervention that teaches the learner to use visual-graphic symbols to communicate with others (Bondy & Frost, 1994; Frost & Bondy, 2002).  First developed in 1985 for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities

Phase One
‡ The student is taught how to exchange a picture for a tangible item the child really wants ‡ It is the first step in independent student initiate communication ‡ Two trainers are needed to effectively execute this phase

Phase Two
‡ Communication book is introduced ‡ Generalization ² ² Different places ² Different people ² Distance ² Persistence

Phase Three
‡ Picture Discrimination ‡ Multiply picture icon are used ‡ Student initiated

Phase Four
‡ Sentence Introduction ‡ Student initiated ‡ Most Common
² I want ««

Phase Five
‡ Student learns to answer questions ‡ Not Student initiated, other communicator initiates communication
² Example:
‡ What do you want

Phase Six
‡ Students are taught how to comment and communicate his or her observations and experiences with others ² Examples ² I see« ² It is«.

Research Shows   

That children and adults with limited verbal skills that use a PECS build independent communication skills Children and adults who use PECS have also gained spoken language Negative or disruptive behaviors diminish

Case Study    

Case study of 36 children diagnosed with autism, Half received PECS training and the other half received RPMT (), PECS may help children with autism gain speech more quickly than those trained with RPMT. Both groups gained speech skills by using a communication system.

Case Study   



In a study of three boys all diagnosed with autism, who had little speech, and other communication methods were tried before the PECS. All three students showed an increase in spontaneous speech and imitation. All showed a decrease in negative behaviors All showed an increase in social ± communicative behaviors as well

Why PECS ? Why Not?
Children with limited speech can express wants and needs universally understood Can help decrease behavior problems Has been known to increase speech skills in some children Student / Child initiated Used anywhere

Why PECS? Why Not?
Children on the autism spectrum tend to learn visually Prompts spontaneous speech and communication in those who may not otherwise initiate any communication Increases the ability for the student to learn Can be used in all aspects of daily communication assists child in academic area s

Work Cited
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ http://www.pecsusa.com/faqs.php#general http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/mod_list.php Bondy, A., & Frost, L. (1994). The picture exchange communication system. Focus on Autistic Behavior,9, 1±19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1284381/pdf/12365736.pdf Frost, L. & Bondy, A. (2006). A Common Language: Using B.F. Skinner¶s Verbal Behavior for Assessment and Treatment of Communication Disabilities in SLP-ABA. The Journal of Speech - Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis. 1, 103-110. Yokoyama, K., Naoi, N., & Yamamoto, J. (2006). Teaching verbal behavior using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with children with autistic spectrum disorder. Japanese Journal of Special Education, 43, 485-503. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt & Shannon L. Root (2005). Establishing derived requesting skills in adults with severe developmental disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, 101-105. http://autism.healingthresholds.com/therapy/picture-exchangecommunication-system-pecs

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Case Study Used
CHARLOP-CHRISTY, M, CARPENTER, M, Le, L, LEBLANC, L, & KELLET, K. (2002). Using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with children with autism: Assessment of PECS Acquisition, Speech, Social-Communicative Behavior, and Problem Behavior. JOURNAL OF APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS , 3(35), 213-231.

Yoder, P., and W.L. Stone. 2006. "A Randomized Comparison of the Effect of Two Prelinguistic Communication Interventions On The Acquisition of Spoken Communication In Preschoolers With ASD." J Speech Lang Hear Res. 49(4):698711