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Learning Approaches - Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)

One of the main areas affected in individuals on the autism spectrum is the ability to communicate; some will develop verbal language, while others may never talk. An augmented communication program, such as Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS), is helpful to get language started as well as to provide a way of communicating for those children that do not talk.

PECS was developed at the Delaware Autistic Program to help children and adults with ASD to acquire functional communication skills. It uses ABA-based methods to teach children to exchange a picture for something they want - an item or activity.

The advantage to PECS is that it is clear, intentional, and initiated by the child. The child hands you a picture, and his or her request is immediately understood. It also makes it easy for the child with ASD to communicate with anyone - all they have to do is accept the picture.


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