Brief Report: Randomized test of the efficacy of picture exchange communication system on highly generalized picture exchanges in children with ASD

J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 May;40(5):629-32. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0897-y.


A randomized control trial comparing two social-communication interventions in young children with autism examined far-transfer of the use of picture exchange to communicate. Thirty-six children were randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions, one of which was the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). All children had access to picture symbols during assessments. Post-treatment measurement of the number of picture exchanges in a far-transfer, assessment context favored the PECS intervention. These findings were interpreted as support for the hypothesis that the PECS curriculum can successfully teach a generalized means of showing coordinated attention to object and person without requiring eye contact to children with ASD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Child Language
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication Aids for Disabled*
  • Communication Disorders / psychology
  • Communication Disorders / therapy*
  • Early Intervention, Educational / methods
  • Education, Special / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Language Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Nonverbal Communication / psychology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Behavior*
  • Treatment Outcome