Training paraprofessionals to implement the picture exchange communication system (PECS)
Based on Skinner’s Verbal Behavior (1957), the picture exchange communication system (PECS) was designed to teach children with autism functional verbal behavior. Much research has demonstrated the effectiveness and efficiency of PECS in building verbal behavior. However, because PECS training is typically presented in a group format and later discontinued (Howlin et al., 2007), decreases in treatment integrity may result in loss of effectiveness and durability. Hence, more intensive approaches may be necessary to establish, generalize, and maintain PECS delivery skills for educators beyond those demonstrated in workshop or group consultation trainings. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of a feedback model developed by Marcus, Swanson, and Vollmer (2001) to teach paraprofessionals to implement PECS with a high degree of integrity using single subject design methodology. The study examined the performance of paraprofessionals and students, as well as the extension and maintenance of PECs implementation. Implications for PECS training, and PECS training protocol are discussed in establishing and maintaining PECS delivery with integrity.
0530: Teacher education