PECS Phase 2

PECS Training
PHASE 2: Distance and Persistence
Objective: The student goes to his/her communication board, pulls the picture off, goes to the
trainer, gets the trainer’s attention, and releases the picture into the trainer’s hand. Teaching
strategy is shaping.
1. Two trainers are required for this phase (Communicative Partner and Physical
Prompter) – although the Physical Prompter may have no or limited role
2. No verbal prompts are used during this phase although you can name the items
when they give you the picture (e.g., “blue”)
3. Teach a variety of pictures – presented one at a time
4. Analyze effectiveness of reinforcers frequently
5. Use a variety of communicative partners
6. Ensure that each student has his/her own books
7. In addition to structured training trials, create many opportunities for spontaneous
requesting during functional activities each day
8. The new skill to reinforce is traveling (do these one at a time)
a. Travel to Communicative Partner
b. Travel to book
c. Triangulate – travel to book and then Communicative Partner
Communicative Partner’s responsibilities:
1. Plans for each student to have own communication book
2. Arranges training environment appropriately – pictures available one at a time,
trainers positioned appropriately, items available but inaccessible
3. Entices appropriately
4. Gradually increases distance between student and communication book
5. Gradually increase distance between student and communicative partner
6. Teaches student to cross room to reach communicative partner
7. Reinforces appropriately – new behavior within ½ second
8. Turns away from student-eliminates subtle “body language” cues – get rid of all
9. Does not insist on speech
Physical Prompter’s responsibilities
1. Wait for the student’s initiation
2. Prompts removal of picture from book if necessary
3. Physically guides student to trainer if necessary
4. Physically guides student to communication book if necessary
5. Does not interact socially with the student
6. Uses backstepping if necessary
What if…?
 Student stops on the way to the CP?
o Communicative Partner puts the picture back on the PECS book and stands
where the student stopped
 Student goes to the CP without a picture of the PECS book?
o Check reinforcer – is it still motivating?
o Communicative Partner puts the picture back on the PECS book and remains
where he/she was last
 Student can’t travel?
o Teach “come here” – e.g., through a call device
Student responsibilities:
1. Remove the picture from the communication book
2. Travel the distance between location and picture/book
3. Travel the distance between picture/book and Communicative Partner
Target Sequence
PICK UP ---- TRAVEL ---- RELEASE (allow the individual to play with the item for approximately 30
seconds and take it back (you might pair the retrieval with some language such as, “my turn”,
“give me,” or “all done”))
Reinforcing the skill of traveling to get wants/needs met.
 Student should be able to independently cross a room to retrieve a picture and cross a
room to give it to a Communicative Partner. Student should have 5-10 reinforcers.