Comparing the Picture Exchange Communication System and Sign Language Training for Children with AutismBy Tincani, Matt; Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 152-163
Publication Date: Fall 2004
Study conducted to compare the effects of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) from Bondy and Frost and sign language training on the acquisition of mands (requests for preferred items) by students with autism. The PECS is a picture exchange system commonly used for children with autism. The system teaches children to use picture symbols to communicate their wants and needs. The study also evaluated the effects of each medium on students' acquisition of vocal behavior. Two elementary school students with autism participated in the study. Training sessions involved presentations of preferred items, prompting, and prompt fading procedures. Evaluations were conducted to evaluate how effectively students used mands when interacting with their teachers. Sign language training was found to produce a higher percentage of independent mands for one participant, while PECS training was found to yield a higher percentage of independent mands for the other. For both participants, sign language training produced a higher percentage of vocalizations during training. The author contends that these results suggest that the acquisition of picture exchange and sign language may vary across individual students, and that future research is necessary to determine the overall effectiveness of both training methods.
Published by: PRO-ED, Inc. (Website:http://www.proedinc.com)
Division on Developmental Disabilities (DDD) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) (Web Site: http://www.dddcec.org )