Guide to Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) for Autism

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Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an individualized communication system designed to help children with autism develop verbal skills. PECS uses pictures, symbols and a grid-like layout of objects that are placed in order on a surface such as paper or whiteboard. The child’s task is to point at the correct object from among a selection provided by the teacher which might include words, numbers and action items.
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The “picture exchange communication system pdf” is a guide to the Picture Exchange Communication System for Autism. The PECS was developed by Dr. Tony Attwood and it is used to help children with autism communicate through pictures.


Autism is a spectrum condition characterized by difficulty in communicating.

PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) is an alternative and augmentative communication system that employs images to help people communicate better. PECS was originally developed to help autistic children with very limited functional speech or who were entirely nonverbal, but it is now more extensively used to promote communication among autistic people in general.

PECS is an evidence-based therapy strategy for persons with autism spectrum condition who want to enhance their functional communication abilities (ASD).

What Is PECS and How Does It Work?

In the mid-1980s, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed using the concepts of applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment. It was originally used for nonverbal preschool autistic children at the Delaware Autistic Program (DAP).

PECS is a kind of positive reinforcement system. The youngster presents a picture and receives the item requested. It may go from single images to more sophisticated stages with whole phrases.

PECS may assist to increase communication and social interaction with peers in the long run. It’s usually used as a supplement to other treatments. This implies it’s utilized in combination with other therapies and treatments.

PECS may be used in the classroom or at home to help youngsters express requests, ideas, and anything else that can be represented by a picture. When a youngster has certain needs, desires, emotions, or ideas, they will be able to develop communication graphics to assist communicate what they are thinking or experiencing.

This technique aids in the reduction of tantrums, which are often the consequence of unfulfilled demands. As the child’s capacity to communicate improves, he or she will become less frustrated.

PECS has been demonstrated to be useful for children aged 3 to 12. It may also help teens and adults with autism with their cognitive and physical communication challenges.

PECS comprises six phases.

The Picture Exchange Communication System is a self-initiating system that uses visuals instead of verbal signals to promote effective communication. PECS is divided into six stages.

The First Phase: How to Communicate

Pictures are exchanged for what the user really needs or desires.

Phase 2: Distance & Persistence

To generalize the acquired talent, single photographs are used to teach persistent communication in a range of circumstances and with various persons.

Picture Discrimination (Phase 3)

A PECS Communication Book, a three-ring binder with illustrations that may be quickly removed and utilized to communicate, has been devised. To request particular items, two or three photographs are now utilized.

Sentence Structure (Phase 4)

Simple sentences starting with “I desire” and followed by images are formed using a removable sentence strip.

Responsive Requesting (Phase 5)

“What do you want?” is a question that is answered with a picture.

Phase 6: Providing feedback

People may use pictures to react to inquiries and to put up their own words. In the advanced levels, adjectives, conjunctions, and verbs may be added to the sentences. PECS is made up of six stages that work together to produce a full communication system.

How is PECS used to help people with autism?

PECS is distinct from other autism treatments in that it use visuals rather than words. It will be less daunting in this manner, and it will aid in the development of independence as well as social and functional communication. PECS is used in conjunction with other treatments, such as ABA therapy, in the treatment of autism.

Low-tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is the Picture Exchange Communication System. As a consequence, it is less costly than many other AAC approaches, such as those that need technology gear.

To be most successful, it should be started by a skilled expert. Children will work directly with their communication partner in the first phase.

Phase 2 necessitates the youngster traveling to make requests and converse with other individuals using their photographs. In a classroom or small group context, peers may be taught how to react and communicate using PECS. It may also be utilized in treatment sessions and at home.

In phase 3, children learn to distinguish between what they want and what they don’t want by using pictorial symbols. Phase 4 involves using the phrase strip to request both present and non-present items.

During phase 5, the kid will learn how to answer directly to adult queries using the phrase strip and visuals. Phase 6 builds on this and helps students increase their vocabulary.

PECS can and should be used in all contexts after it has been taught, and its usage may be enhanced and extended at home. The PECS Communication Book is meant to be portable, allowing the user to carry it wherever they go.

PECS & ABA Therapy

The Picture Exchange Communication System is based on the positive reinforcement system used in ABA to assist improve behaviour.

ABA is regarded as one of the most effective evidence-based treatments for autism. When utilized extensively over time, it has been clinically demonstrated to improve results for autistic children. One of the advantages of ABA is that it is very versatile and can be adapted to the specific needs of the person.

PECS may be employed as part of the treatment program when ABA is used as a flexible behavioral therapy. Both techniques have the potential to complement one another.

The Pros & Cons of PECS

Although there are few research on the usefulness of PECS, those that do exist suggest that it may enhance nonverbal autistic children’s long-term social communication abilities. The first concern about PECS was that it might limit the development of language abilities, although this is most certainly not the case.

As a means of nonverbal communication, sign language is often used before PECS. This is due to the fact that utilizing photographs has restrictions, since you must have a picture for every potential scenario. PECS, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to be as as successful, if not more, in enhancing communication among nonverbal autistic children.

The Picture Exchange Communication System may reduce problem behaviors linked with autism by as much as 60%, including poor communication skills and repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping and head twisting. When a youngster can communicate more effectively, he or she is less likely to participate in harmful behaviors and has fewer emotional outbursts as a consequence.

PECS is a low-cost supplementary treatment in general. When utilized as part of a comprehensive autism treatment approach, it may be useful.


The Systematic Review’s Summary (2008). The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving communication skills (ASHA).

PALS: A Peer-Mediated Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention for Minimally Verbal Preschoolers with Autism and the Picture Exchange Communication System (Updated October 2016). Journal of Speech Learning and Hearing Research is a publication dedicated to the study of speech and hearing (JSLHR).

Picture Exchange Communication System (Evidence-Based Practice Brief) (PECS). (2010, October). Autism Spectrum Disorders National Professional Development Center (ASD).

Communication System for Image Exchange (PECS). Pyramid Educational Consultants is a firm that specializes in educational consulting.

ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis (2020). Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about

The Unlikely Suspects: Myths and Misconceptions About PECS (2012). The Psychological Documentation.

Long-Term Effects of PECS on Social-Communicative Skills of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Follow-Up Study. (March 2014). International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders.

With children with autism, comparing the acquisition of exchange-based and signed commands. (2013). International Association for Behavior Analysis (ABAI).

The Impact of a Picture Exchange Communication System on Autism Communication and Behavioral Anomalies (July-December 2010). The Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine is a publication dedicated to psychological medicine in India.

The “pecs book” is a guide to the Picture Exchange Communication System, or PECS. This system is designed for children with autism and other related disorders who are struggling with verbal language.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you teach an image to exchange communications?

A: In order to teach an image, you must first find the data of what is inside that image. This can be done by using a program like CorelDraw or Microsoft Paint to open up and view the file. If this does not work out, try searching for Exchange communicatiosn on google images.

What are the 6 stages of PECS?

A: I am not programmed to answer this.

How do you set up a PECS book?

A: First, create a PECS book. Then, fill out all of the sections with words or pictures to represent each step in your routine. When you are done setting up your PECS book, print it and attach two velcro dots to the back cover

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