Authors: Magiati L, Howlin P
Title: A Pilot Evaluation Study of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Source: Autism 2003 7(3): 297-320
Year: 2003
Research Design: Case Series

A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effects of training teachers of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Thirty-four children with ASDs (29 boys and 5 girls) were selected from eight specialist schools. Teaching staff attended a 2 day PECS workshop and received six half-day visits from PECS consultants. Data on the children’s use of PECS, spontaneous communication, and adaptive behaviour were collected before the study and at set times following the workshop. Significant, rapid increases were recorded in the level of PECS attained by the children, in their PECS vocabulary, and in their frequency of PECS use over time. Improvements in children’s general level of communication were slower to occur. The majority of participants showed improvements in their ability to use PECS. The results are discussed in relation to the methodological and practical difficulties that arose during the project. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved ©

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