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PECS - Picture Exchange Communication System

  • Author: Liz Green
  • Create Time: 11/08/2012 14:23:46
  • Last Update Time: 11/08/2012 14:25:56
 Excerpt from, November, 8, 2012.

What is PECS?

Picture Exchange Communication System

Developed by Andrew S. Bondy, Ph.D. & Lori Frost, M.S., CCC/SLP

PECS was developed in 1985 as a unique augmentative/alternative communication intervention package for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disabilities. First used at the Delaware Autistic Program, PECS has received worldwide recognition for focusing on the initiation component of communication. PECS does not require complex or expensive materials. It was created with families, educators, and resident care providers in mind, so is readily used in a range of settings.

PECS begins by teaching an individual to give a picture of a desired item to a “communicative partner", who immediately honors the exchange as a request. The system goes on to teach discrimination of pictures and how to put them together in sentences. In the more advanced phases, individuals are taught to answer questions and to comment.

The PECS teaching protocol is based on B.F. Skinner’s book, Verbal Behavior, such that functional verbal operants are systematically taught using prompting and reinforcement strategies that will lead to independent communication. Verbal prompts are not used, thus building immediate initiation and avoiding prompt dependency.


The following section contains downloadable items which may be of interest.

Forms & Applications
Lesson Plan Samples
Pics For PECS Samples
PECS Objectives
PECS Myths and Misconceptions 2010
To PECS or not to PECS

For more information, please visit:

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