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ERIC Number: EJ990732
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Social-Communicative Effects of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Lerna, Anna; Esposito, Dalila; Conson, Massimiliano; Russo, Luigi; Massagli, Angelo
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v47 n5 p609-617 Sep-Oct 2012
Background: The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a common treatment choice for non-verbal children with autism. However, little empirical evidence is available on the usefulness of PECS in treating social-communication impairments in autism. Aims: To test the effects of PECS on social-communicative skills in children with autism, concurrently taking into account standardized psychometric data, standardized functional assessment of adaptive behaviour, and information on social-communicative variables coded in an unstructured setting. Methods & Procedures: Eighteen preschool children (mean age = 38.78 months) were assigned to two intervention approaches, i.e. PECS and Conventional Language Therapy (CLT). Both PECS (Phases I-IV) and CLT were delivered three times per week, in 30-min sessions, for 6 months. Outcome measures were the following: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) domain scores for Communication and Reciprocal Social Interaction; Language and Personal-Social subscales of the Griffiths' Mental Developmental Scales (GMDS); Communication and Social Abilities domains of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS); and several social-communicative variables coded in an unstructured setting. Outcomes & Results: Results demonstrated that the two groups did not differ at Time 1 (pre-treatment assessment), whereas at Time 2 (post-test) the PECS group showed a significant improvement with respect to the CLT group on the VABS social domain score and on almost all the social-communicative abilities coded in the unstructured setting (i.e. joint attention, request, initiation, cooperative play, but not eye contact). Conclusions & Implications: These findings showed that PECS intervention (Phases I-IV) can improve social-communicative skills in children with autism. This improvement is especially evident in standardized measures of adaptive behaviour and measures derived from the observation of children in an unstructured setting. (Contains 5 tables.)
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: cs-journals@wiley.com; Web site: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales