Impact of the Picture Exchange Communication System: Effects on Communication and Collateral Effects on Maladaptive Behaviors Academic Article uri icon


  • Many children with autism require intensive instruction in the use of augmentative or alternative communication systems, such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). This study investigated the use of PECS with three young boys with autism to determine the impact of PECS training on use of pictures for requesting, use of intelligible words, and maladaptive behaviors. A multiple baseline-probe design with a staggered start was implemented. Results indicated that all of the participants quickly learned to make requests using pictures and that two used intelligible speech following PECS instruction; maladaptive behaviors were variable throughout baseline and intervention phases. Although all of the participants improved in at least one dependent variable, there remain questions regarding who is best suited for PECS and similar interventions. 2009 International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ganz, J. B., Parker, R., & Benson, J.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Ganz, Jennifer B||Parker, Richard||Benson, Joanne

publication date

  • December 2009