Picture Exchange Communication System

What is PECS?

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 is an approach that develops early expressive communication skills using pictures More than using pictures for visual support,
  • PECS is a functional communication system that develops important communication and social skills.
  • PECS is appropriate for people of all ages with a wide range of learning difficulties Originally developed for pre-school children with autism,
  • PECS is now being successfully used with adults and children with a range of communication difficulties. It’s never too late to start PECS, which can be used in conjunction with other approaches such as TEACCH, Portage, ABA.
  • PECS can be used anywhere that someone communicates Often, it’s initially introduced at home or in special schools, residential settings, outreach programmes and/or care homes.
  • PECS can be successfully implemented by family members or professionals. It does not require expensive or complex equipment and overcomes disadvantages found with signing and other picture-based augmentative communication systems.

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