Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Panel #529
CE Offered: BACB
Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?: A Case for Parsimony in Conditional Discrimination Using PECS
Monday, May 27, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Lobby Level, Plaza Ballroom AB
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Ken Winn, M.S.
Chair: Mary Howell (Firefly Autism)
KEN WINN (Firefly Autism)
KOREY TAYLOR (Firefly Autism)
MIRANDA FOLEY (Firefly Autism)

The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed to teach children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) a functional way to communicate when they have limited abilities in speech, language and speaking skills. However, there is an underlying assumption that a child does not need to already posses simple or conditional discrimination skills in order to succeed with PECS, but rather those skills will develop later (Bondy and Frost, 2001). In the present study we examine two adolescents with ASD and their slow acquisition of PECS. When examining the assumed prerequisite skills of simple and conditional discrimination neither student is competent. With their severely limited communication skills and deficient discrimination skills we postulated that despite the presumed acquisition of these skills, that they would require the teaching of these fundamentals prior to succeeding in PECS. Utilizing the general procedures for teaching conditional discrimination skills established by Gina Green (2001) we have seen a significant increase in the acquisition of PECS.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBA's RBT's ABA Therapists

Learning Objectives: 1) Participants will learn about conditional discrimination in the use of Picture Exchange Communication System 2) Participants will learn to analyze the gradual effects of visual communication systems for individuals with ASD and severe communication challenges 3) Participants will identify fundamental skills necessary to teach more complicate communication systems, such as PECS
Keyword(s): Communication, Conditional Discrimination, PECS



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