Exploring the Use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) in Special Education Schools in the United Kingdom

Richard May, Hira Salman, Corinna Grindle, Louise Denne, Alison Heals, Richard Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a widely used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system for minimally verbal learners with intellectual disabilities (ID). We surveyed individuals responsible for implementing PECS in special educational needs schools (N=261) in the United Kingdom. We assessed practitioner knowledge of PECS, treatment fidelity, and barriers to its use. We found considerable variations in the knowledge and implementation of PECS. The availability of an intervention manual, formal PECS training, and educational level were associated with greater knowledge and implementation fidelity. Participants rated PECS to be an effective intervention; however, several barriers to implementation were identified. This study contributes new information regarding the real-world implementation of PECS and offers new insights for supporting educators.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publication statusSubmitted - 15 Apr 2021

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