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What is Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Cutting-Edge Language and Literacy Tools for Students on the Autism Spectrum
A system of communication that involves small, laminated, Velcro-backed pictures. Communicating via PECS involves choosing and assembling together the pictures on a Velcro-backed strip and then handing the strip to one’s communication partner.
Published in Chapter:
Tools for Bypassing Basic Language and Speech Deficits: A Survey of AAC and Assistive Communication Tools
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9442-1.ch008
This chapter surveys two basic tools for bypassing the most severe language and speech deficits: augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools and assistive tools. It discusses the various forms of AAC, particularly high-tech speech generating devices. It reviews specific high-tech AAC programs, from those with simpler interfaces that allow only limited communication, to those with complex interfaces that allow longer sentences with grammatical features. It discusses two different strategies for optimizing user interface—category-based strategies (e.g., the Proloquo2Go programs) and motor-planning-based strategies (e.g., the LAMP programs)—and their various pros and cons. It then turns to what the efficacy data shows about boosting communicative skills and behaviors. It then reviews various assistive tools: first, those that transition users from AAC to typing; then, those that only support users through word prediction. It concludes with caveats about how AAC and assistive tools should not de-incentive linguistic instruction or undermine independent communication.
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More Results
In-Person Therapies for Language: Efficacy and Limitations
A system of communication that involves small, laminated pictures (including photographs) or icons, often customized to the child’s particular interests and sometimes captioned with printed words. In PECS training, instead of prompting a child to produce a targeted spoken or signed response, the therapist prompts him to select and hand over (“exchange”) a targeted picture or sequence of pictures.
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Communication and Competence
PECS is a unique alternative/augmentative communication system developed in the USA in 1985 by Andy Bondy, PhD, and Lori Frost, MS, CCC-SLP. PECS was first implemented with pre-school students diagnosed with autism at the Delaware Autism Program.
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Augmentative and Alternative Communication Technologies
The Picture Exchange Communication System was developed by Lori Frost, M.S., CCC/SLP and Andrew Bondy, Ph.D. at the Delaware Autistic Program in 1994. It is used to teach children with limited functional communication skills to communicate within a social context using applied behavior analysis. Pictures are used to communicate in exchange for the items or task (ICAN, 2000).
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