Assessing Generalization of the Picture Exchange Communication System in Children with Autism

Document Type



Psychology (CMC)

Publication Date



Since its introduction to the field, a growing body of research on the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) has demonstrated its efficacy for children with autism in research settings. However, knowledge of PECS generalization remains limited and mixed. The present study explored a train and probe technique of assessing generalization after each phase of PECS training. Four children with autism were taught PECS in treatment rooms with a therapist at their behavioral treatment program. Generalization was assessed in a playroom with a therapist, at home with a therapist and parent, and in the community with a stranger. Results indicated that all four participants generalized PECS use across settings and people and maintained PECS use at follow-up. Findings provide support for the utility of a train and probe technique to assess generalization when using PECS with children with autism.

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© 2012 Springer-Verlag

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