A review and analysis of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) for individuals with autism spectrum disorders using a paradigm of communication competence

Cheryl Ostryn, Pamela S. Wolfe, Frank R. Rusch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research related to the use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with individuals having autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) was examined using a communication competence paradigm detailed by J. C. Light (1988, 1989, 2003). Communication components were operationalized based on skills identified in ASD research. A review was conducted to examine general PECS outcomes and outcomes related to communication competence including generalized, spontaneous, and joint attention abilities, and maintenance. Results indicated that there were few empirical studies related to the PECS. Of note, the reported studies indicated generally positive outcomes for individuals with ASDs, particularly related to manding and generalization. When the communication competence paradigm was applied, results indicated that, in its present form, the PECS needs to be used as a part of a multimodal communication system. Results suggest that training related to the PECS includes joint attention and question asking. Recommendations for the use ofPECS and future research with individuals having ASDs are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Volume33
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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