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The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) has been used to help children and youth with ASD develop a system for communicating with teachers, parents, and peers across multiple environments. PECS was initially developed as an alternative communication system and has since been demonstrated in the research literature to promote speech development and production. This module will define PECS, outline the steps to effectively implement this evidence-based practice, and provide specific examples for its use across settings and age groups.

Estimated Time to Complete: 2 1/2 hours

  • What's Included
  • 59 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $25 certficate
  1. Summarize a basic overview of PECS, including what it is, what ages it is used with, and the steps involved in developing an individualized PECS program
  2. Identify resources to use in developing PECS programming
  3. Apply PECS for learners at the preschool and elementary school levels

Module Authors

Lana Collet-Klingenberg, Ph.D.

L. Collet-Klingenberg earned her Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. Her professional experiences include teaching individuals with a wide range of abilities in school and community settings. Lana's graduate studies focused on communication and social skills and the transition from school to adult life for young adults. Since 1998, she has been involved in pre-service teacher education at both UW-Whitewater and UW-Madison, as well as having worked on a number of federal and state grant initiatives focused on non-verbal communication, improving transition services, and creating authentic schools for all learners.

Module Contributors

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education from 2007-2014. The work of the NPDC was a collaboration among three universities-the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis. The goal of the NPDC was to promote the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children and youth with ASD, birth to 22 years of age.

Andy Bondy, Ph.D. and Lori Frost, M.S., CCC/SLP

Adapted from and with thanks to:

Frost, L. A., & Bondy, A. S. (2002). The Picture exchange communication system training manual (2nd ed.). Newark, DE: Pyramid Educational Products, Inc.

Please see Pyramid Educational Products, Inc. at for the PECS manual and other resources to make implementation more efficient.

Andy Bondy, Ph.D., has over 50 years of experience working with children and adults with ASD and related disabilities, including directing a statewide public school program. He and his wife, Lori Frost, developed the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). He designed the Pyramid Approach to Education and is a co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc., an international team promoting the integration of applied behavior analysis within functional activities with an emphasis on functional communication skills. He serves as Vice-Chair of the BOD of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He received the 2012 SABA Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis.

Lori Frost is vice-president and co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc. She has been the driving force behind creating The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS),and is co-author of the PECS Training Manual, 2nd Edition. Ms. Frost has a wealth of background in functional communication training and applied behavior analysis. As a Pyramid consultant, Ms. Frost has traveled the world, teaching workshops on PECS and the Pyramid Approach to Education. She has presented a number of papers and lectures on autism and communication, co-authored several articles and chapters, and is respected by professionals in her field as a leader in functional communication systems.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was developed by The National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders

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