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Effects of picture exchange communication system on communication and behavioral anomalies in autism

Author(s): Malhotra Shahzadi | Rajender Gaurav | Bhatia Manjeet | Singh Tej

Journal: Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
ISSN 0253-7176

Volume: 32;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 141;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Autism | behavioural management | PECS | stereotyped behaviour

Communication skills deficits and stereotyped behaviors are frequently found among people with pervasive developmental disabilities like autism. These communication and behavioral oddities of autism are often considered to be difficult to treat and are challenging. Picture exchange communication system (PECS) is a six-phase picture system based on applied behavior analysis and is specially designed to overcome these communication difficulties in children with autism by encouraging the child to be the communication initiator. The present paper throws light on the process of using PECS along with other traditional behavioral approaches in managing communication deficits and behavioral stereotypies in a seven-year-old male child diagnosed as having childhood autism. The identified target behaviors of repeated head turning, flapping his hands, poor communication skills were assessed using various rating scales including visual analogue scale as per clinician observation and parental reports and managed using PECS as an adjunct to traditional behavioral techniques of contingency management, differential reinforcement, task direction and reprimand. Outcome was assessed using same tools after thirty-two sessions of interventions spread over three months. Significant improvements of around 60% were observed in the target behaviors.
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