Effects on communicative requesting and speech development of the Picture Exchange Communication System in children with characteristics of autism.
Additional Document Info
Few studies on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems have addressed the potential for such systems to impact word utterances in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an AAC system designed specifically to minimize difficulties with communication skills experienced by individuals with ASD. The current study examined the role of PECS in improving the number of words spoken, increasing the complexity and length of phrases, and decreasing the non-word vocalizations of three young children with ASD and developmental delays (DD) with related characteristics. Participants were taught Phases 1-4 of PECS (i.e., picture exchange, increased distance, picture discrimination, and sentence construction). The results indicated that PECS was mastered rapidly by the participants and word utterances increased in number of words and complexity of grammar.