Document 5350774

PECS & Social Skills
Adriana Gentile, Assunta Di Stefano,
Lauren Rosen, & Jackie Sinto
Picture Exchange Communication
System (PECS)
Developed by Andy Bondy, Ph.D., and Lori
Frost, M.S., in 1985.
Alternative communication intervention for
individuals with autism spectrum disorder and
related developmental disabilities.
Successful with individuals of all ages
demonstrating a variety of cognitive,
communicative, and physical difficulties.
-Communication, social, and behavior skills are
generally the primary targets for intervention.
-PECS is based on B.F. Skinner’s Verbal
Behavior where verbal operants are
systematically taught using prompting and
reinforcement strategies that will lead to
independent communication.
PECS Research
Traditional communication strategies such as
speech imitation techniques, sign language,
and picture point systems required too many
prerequisite skills and focused on the teacher
beginning the interactions
->PECS focuses on teaching children the
importance of initiation of communication
with another individual
Evidence of Effectiveness
There are over 100 published articles providing the evidence of the
effectiveness of PECS.
PECS has been shown to:
● Foster independent communication skills
● Increase relatedness and emotional closeness
● Increase availability for learning and interaction
● Build spoken language skills
● Decrease negative behaviors that were caused by frustration
-Bondy and Frost (1994), found that after one year, a majority of the
preschoolers used in this study with Autism Spectrum Disorder transitioned
to speech alone, while the remaining students were able to use a
combination of speech plus PECS.
-Charlop-Christy et al. (2002), studied the effect that PECS implementation has
on decreasing contextually inappropriate behaviors that often result from an
overall inability to communicate in children with ASD in academic and play
settings, including tantrums, grabbing, out-of-seat behavior, and disruptive
behaviors. A 70% reduction across behaviors and settings was noted.
PECS Phases
PECS begins by teaching an individual to give a picture of
a desired item to a “communicative partner".
This “communicative partner” immediately honors the
exchange as a request.
The system goes on to teach discrimination of pictures and
how to put them together in sentences. In the more
advanced phases, individuals are taught to answer
questions and to comment.
*Before implementing PECS, the teacher/communicative
partner develops an inventory of which items the student
Phase I
How To Communicate
Students learn to exchange single pictures for
items or activities they really want (reward).
Demo Phase 1
Phase II
Distance and Persistence
Still using single pictures, students learn to generalize this
new skill by using it in different places, with different
people and across distances. This phase teaches
students to be more persistent communicators and how
to seek and obtain another person’s attention.
Phase III
Picture Discrimination
Students learn to select from two or more pictures to ask
for their favorite things. These are placed in a
communication book—a ring binder with Velcro® strips
where pictures are stored and easily removed for
Demo Phase III
Phase IV
Sentence Structure
Students learn to construct simple sentences on a
detachable sentence strip using an “I want” picture
followed by a picture of the item being requested.
*Verbal communication is encouraged during this phase.
Students who are exchanging and speaking receive a larger
amount of the reinforcer, or the reinforcer for a longer period
of time.
Demo Phase IV
Phase V
Answering Questions
Students learn to use PECS to answer the question,
“What do you want?”. The first four phases
focuses on teaching initiation whereas this phase
focuses on responding to questions.
Phase VI
Now students are taught to comment in response
to questions such as, “What do you see?”, “What
do you hear?” and “What is it?”. They learn to
make up sentences starting with “I see”, “I hear”,
“I feel”, “It is a”, etc. They are responding to
occurrences in their environment.
Demo Phase VI
PECS Video
Bondy, A., & Frost, L. (1994). The picture exchange
communication system. Focus on autistic behavior, 9, 119.
Charlop-Christy, M. H., Carpenter, M., Le, L., LeBlanc, L., &
Kelley, K. (2002). Using the picture exchange
communication system (PECS) with children with autism:
Assessment of PECS acquisition, speech, socialcommunicative behaviors, and problem behaviors.
Journal of applied behavior analysis, 35, 213-231.
Technology Comp 13
• Jaclynn Sinto- Technology Competency 13
• This PowerPoint presentation will be used to
instruct a class on the benefits of using PECS
(Picture Exchange Communication System).
• The PowerPoint includes, pictures, a movie,
and a demonstration on how to use the