Sarah Harter



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Sarah Harter, HON 400: All College Honors Colloquium
Faculty Mentor: Professor Kathy R. Doody, Exceptional Education

The ability to communicate wants and needs to others is an important aspect of communication. Communication is not limited to only spoken language but is also gestural or written. For a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), communicating those needs may be difficult. The inability to communicate may lead to frustration which can trigger the demonstration of inappropriate behavior. Researchers often examine the effectiveness of interventions to increase communicative abilities in children with ASD to alleviate frustration. The use of Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices is one intervention that has been explored. Augmented and Alternative Communication or AAC is used to help children with autism communicate information without the use of speech. One specific type of AAC that is typically used for children with ASD is the Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS). PECS is a system that uses the selection of pictures in order to facilitate communication for children with ASD to enhance verbal communication. There is a misconception that the use of AAC discourages, rather than encourages, the use of verbal language in individuals with ASD. Therefore, this literature review will examine the effectiveness of PECS as an intervention to increase the verbal language of children with ASD.

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Is the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) an Effective Intervention to Increase the Verbal Language of a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder?
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