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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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6.2 Evaluations of PECS

PECS is one of the few autism-specific interventions to have been evaluated through all of the stages described earlier, including some RCTs. For younger children with little functional speech there are positive findings, especially increased social communication. PECS is widely used, although further research is needed to establish which children on the spectrum are most likely to gain maximum benefit from using it. Unlike ABA, PECS is easy and cost-effective to administer. However, Research Autism stresses the importance of training to ensure correct implementation.

Activity 4 PECS in action

Timing: Allow about 3 minutes

In the clip you just watched, was there anything that didn't match the earlier decription of how children are taught to use PECS?

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The teachers were serving as communication partners, but they were also prompting children who already had PECS skills. This may have been detrimental to developing the children's spontaneity. The challenge is to manage any child-specific adaptation of an intervention like PECS without losing the core procedures which make it effective.