Generalisation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) across transfer facilitated and non-facilitated settings.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which PECS would generalise from the training setting to other familiar settings as a function of properties of the settings. It was predicted that PECS would generalise better to the setting where PECS use facilitated was by having the same communicative partners and items available. Three preschool children all with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were trained to use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to a minimum proficiency level of Phase 3. The experiment employed an ABA single case design with multiple target measures, replicated across participants, acknowledging that observations in the first baseline would be zero. Transfer of PECS across settings varied for each participant. One participant generalised PECS to the facilitated environment more than the non-facilitated environment as predicted. Another participant transferred PECS better to the non-facilitated environment compared to the facilitated environment contrary to the research prediction. The final participant did not generalise PECS to either environment, switching to functional verbal communication instead.