Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Developed by: Andy Bondy and Lori Frost

The use of augmentative communication strategies for individuals who are nonverbal or have diminished language skills can be helpful in promoting communication and decreasing frustration related to communication deficits. The use of a specific augmentative communication system called PECS, or Picture Exchange Communication System (a system which an individual is taught to use pictures to communicate), is common in clinical practice. It can be helpful in improving communication initiation. Systematic reviews of the effectiveness of picture exchange systems have inconsistent conclusions. Parents may be concerned that use of augmentative strategies inhibits the development of communication and language skills, but this is not the case. There is some evidence to suggest that children with ASD may be more stimulated to learn speech if they already have an understanding of symbolic communication.

Helpful resources:

Interesting video on PECS: