Picture Exchange Communication System (P

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Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) : 

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Tami Strauss Azusa Pacific University 3/26/10

Picture Exchange Communication System: : 

Picture Exchange Communication System: PECS is a system where a child communicates with a partner through exchanging picture symbols to make requests or express themselves. “PECS programs have the ability to address both communicative and social deficits.” (Smith, 2008, p. 294).

Autism and PECS : 

Autism and PECS Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders often need help with functional communication skills. “Difficulty in acquiring social communication skills is a core characteristic of students with autism (National Research Council, 2001). Intensive intervention to teach functional communication skills that generalize and maintain is essential for these students.” (Snell, 2006, p. 453). PECS is a naturalistic approach to teaching communication to students with autism and other disabilities.

Goals : 

Goals “Help a child spontaneously initiate communicative interaction; Help child understand the function of communication; Develop communicative competency.” (Smith, 2008, p. 292).

Procedure: Phases in Using PECS : 

Procedure: Phases in Using PECS Phase 1: “Learn to Spontaneously Request Items- Child learns to exchange a picture for an item. Phase 2: Generalization of a Learned Skill- Child is required to move a longer distance to get to a communication partner and to use the skill in a different setting.

Procedure: Phases in Using PECS (cont.) : 

Procedure: Phases in Using PECS (cont.) Phase 3: Learn to Discriminate Among Items- Child is required to discriminate among items on a board, making choices based on what he/she wants. Phase 4: Focus Moves to Sentence Structure- Child learns to use sentence strips to make longer requests.

Procedure: Phases in Using PECS (cont.) : 

Procedure: Phases in Using PECS (cont.) Phase 5: Extend Sentence Structure Learned in Phase 4- Adjectives and other words are added to the child’s repertoire. Phase 6: PECS Becomes the Primary Communication System- Child learns to comment on elements in his/her environment using pictures for “I see”, “I feel”, etc.” (Smith, 2008, p.295).

Personal Experience : 

Personal Experience In my personal experience with the PECS system, I have seen students carry around a notebook (created by teacher and speech therapists) that has pictures in it. The student can point to the picture, or attach it’s velcro backing to a sentence strip stating “I want” or “I feel”. For example: I am Sam. I feel . (Picture)

PECS: In the Classroom : 

PECS: In the Classroom PECS systems can be used in instruction of a variety of areas. A teacher needs to think ahead for what pictures/ sentences will be needed in lessons. PECS is useful for a student’s expression of personal needs. It is also useful in helping a student communicate choices.

PECS: Outside of the Classroom : 

PECS: Outside of the Classroom Can be used in home setting. Child can make requests to family. Child can make choices in the home, such as what they would like to eat or where they would like to go. Child can use PECS to communicate in social settings as well. This should come in later phases once the child is familiar with the system and is comfortable initiating communication.

Reported Outcomes : 

Reported Outcomes “Pyramid Educational Consultants report incoming empirical data supporting: increased communicative competency among users (children understanding the function of communication); increasing reports of emerging spontaneous speech.” (Smith, 2008, p. 292).

Advantages of the PECS System : 

Advantages of the PECS System “Helps language get started; Addresses both the communicative and social deficits of autism; Well-suited fro preverbal and nonverbal children AND children with a higher performance IQ than verbal IQ; semantics of PECS more like spoken language than signing.” (Smith, 2008, p. 292).

Disadvantages of the PECS System : 

Disadvantages of the PECS System There are concerns that PECS “may suppress spoken language (evidence suggests otherwise). Student must have the pictures readily available. (May have to carry them around to places where they are not readily accessible). If not properly implemented, it isn’t as effective. The phases need to be followed properly.

References : 

References Smith, T., Polloway, E., Patton, J., & Dowdy, C. 2008. Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings. (5th Ed.) Pearson Education, Inc. Snell, M., & Brown, F. 2006. Instruction of Students with Severe Disabilities. Upper Saddle River, NJ; Pearson Education, Inc.