Advertisement

Using the Picture Exchange Communication System to Increase the Social Communication of Two Individuals with Severe Developmental Disabilities

  • Helen I. Cannella-Malone
  • Jodi L. Fant
  • Christopher A. Tullis
Original Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the PECS with Peers protocol developed by Garfinkle and Schwartz (1994), which uses The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) as a means of increasing social communication between individuals with disabilities and their peers. Two females with severe communication delays and developmental disabilities served as participants and one male with developmental disabilities and one female without disabilities acted as their peers. A multiple baseline across behaviors (i.e., greetings, requests, and responses) design was used to assess the effectiveness of PECS on social communication as well as to examine whether using PECS led to increases in the participants’ verbal communication. Both participants increased their social interactions using PECS with their peer and also demonstrated a general preference for verbal communication. Social validity questionnaires indicated that teachers and parents found the social communication skills to be important and that this intervention was helpful.

Keywords

PECS Social communication Severe developmental disabilities Augmentative and alternative communication Intervention 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was completed by the second author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in special education.

References

  1. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Beukelman, D. R., & Mirenda, P. (2006). Augmentative and alternative communication: Supporting children and adults with complex communication needs. Baltimore: Brookes.Google Scholar
  3. Boardmaker Software™. (2009). Retrieved September 25, 2009 from http://www.mayer-johnson.com/Boardmaker.
  4. Bondy, A., & Frost, L. (2001). The picture exchange communication system. Behavior Modification, 25, 725–744.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Charlop-Christy, M. H., Carpenter, M., Le, L., LeBlanc, L. A., & Kellet, K. (2002). Using the picture exchange communication system (PECS) with children with autism: assessment of PECS acquisition, speech, social-communicative behavior, and problem behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, 213–231.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. DeLeon, I. G., & Iwata, B. A. (1996). Evaluation of a multiple-stimulus presentation format for assessing reinforcer preferences. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 29, 519–532.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Downing, J. E. (2001). Teaching communication skills to students with severe disabilities (2nd ed.). Baltimore: Brookes.Google Scholar
  8. Frea, W. D., Arnold, C. L., & Vittimberga, G. L. (2001). A demonstration of the effects of augmentative communication on the extreme aggressive behavior of a child with autism within an integrated preschool setting. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 3, 194–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frost, L., & Bondy, A. (2002). The picture exchange communication system training manual. Newark: Pyramid Educational Products, Inc.Google Scholar
  10. Ganz, J. B., & Simpson, R. L. (2004). Effects on communicative requesting and speech development of the picture exchange communication system in children with characteristics of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 395–409.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Garfinkle, A. N., & Schwartz, I. S. (1994). PECS with peers: Increasing social interaction in an integrated preschool. Paper presented at the meeting of The Association for the Severely Handicapped, San Francisco, CA, November.Google Scholar
  12. Horner, R. D., & Baer, D. M. (1978). Multiple-probe technique: a variation of the multiple baseline. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11, 189–196.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Johnson, S., Nelson, C., Evans, J., & Palazolo, K. (2003). The use of visual supports in teaching young children with autism spectrum disorder to initiate interactions. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19, 86–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kennedy, C. H. (2004). Social relationships. In C. H. Kennedy & E. M. Horn (Eds.), Including students with severe disabilities (pp. 100–119). Boston: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  15. Kravits, T. R., Kamps, D. M., Kemmerer, K., & Potucek, J. (2002). Brief report: increasing communication skills for an elementary-aged student with autism using the picture exchange communication system. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32, 225–230.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Lancioni, G. E., O’Reilly, M. F., Cuvo, A. J., Singh, N. N., Sigafoos, J., & Didden, R. (2007). PECS and VOCAs to enable students with developmental disabilities to make requests: an overview of the literature. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 468–488.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lund, S. K., & Troha, J. M. (2008). Teaching young people who are blind and have autism to make requests using a variation on the picture exchange communication system with tactile symbols: a preliminary investigation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 719–730.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Mace, F. C., McCurdy, B., & Quigley, E. A. (1990). A collateral effect of reward predicted by matching theory. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 197–205.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Malandraki, G. A., & Okalidou, A. (2007). The application of PECS in a deaf child with autism: a case study. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 22, 23–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marckel, J. M., Neef, N. A., & Ferreri, S. J. (2006). A preliminary analysis of teaching improvisation with the picture exchange communication system to children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 39, 109–115.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Preston, D., & Carter, M. (2009). A review of the efficacy of the picture exchange communication system intervention. Journal of Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, 39, 1471–1486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schwartz, I. S., & Garfinkle, A. N. (1998). The picture exchange communication system: communicative outcomes for young children with disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 18, 144–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sigafoos, J., O’Reilly, M., Ganz, J. B., Lancioni, G. E., & Schlosser, R. W. (2005). Supporting self-determination in AAC interventions by assessing preference for communication devices. Technology and Disability, 17, 1–11.Google Scholar
  24. Sulzer-Azaroff, B., Hoffman, A. O., Horton, C. B., Bondy, A., & Frost, L. (2009). The picture exchange communication system (PECS): what do the data say? Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 24, 89–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tincani, M. (2004). Comparing the picture exchange communication system and sign language training for children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 19, 152–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tincani, M., Crozier, S., & Alazetta, L. (2006). The picture exchange communication system: effects on manding and speech development for school-aged children with autism. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 41, 177–184.Google Scholar
  27. Yoder, P., & Stone, W. (2006). Randomized comparison of the effect of two prelinguistic communication interventions on the acquisition of spoken communication in preschoolers with ASD. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49, 698–711.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen I. Cannella-Malone
    • 1
  • Jodi L. Fant
    • 2
  • Christopher A. Tullis
    • 1
  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Research Consultants, Inc.CincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations