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Title: Do children with autism use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to make spontaneous requests?
Author: Farrer, Amy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 6487
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2010
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This review examines the research on the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which has become a popular communication strategy for children with autism and other communication disorders. A growing body of research has shown that the system is a promising mode of communication. There is, however, a paucity of research that examines the conditions under which the PECS is used, specifically whether children use the PECS to make spontaneous requests. A lack of agreement currently exists over the definition of the term ‘spontaneity’ and so researchers of the PECS who do report instances of spontaneity may be basing the judgment on different patterns of behaviour. Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behaviour and the continuum model of spontaneity (Carter, 2002,2003a; Carter & Hotchkis, 2002; Chiang & Carter, 2008) can be used to understand the development of self-initiated requesting behaviour. Both frameworks state that requests can only be considered as fully spontaneous if they occur without prompts from another person and when the desired item is not in sight. There is a lack of research that examines whether children are able to use the PECS to make requests under these conditions. Furthermore, this literature review shows that some children may be unable to use the PECS to request items not in sight because of the teaching conditions used and/or because the reinforcement practices of the community may be inefficient, and, therefore, ways of promoting spontaneity are considered.
Supervisor: Remington, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RJ101 Child Health. Child health services