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The Use and Benefits of PECS

3 hours, 9 minutes
3.5 BACB
Andy Bondy, PhD

The issue of modality can become really critical. Obviously, when we start with pictures or any other augmentative system, whether it’s sign languages or a device, everybody is concerned that when they use the pictures, they will learn to rely on them and never learn to speak. PECS is part of a broader field called alternative augmentative communication, and there is research in that field for over 40 years. In that time, lots of people have been looking for that problem: Do any of these systems, including PECS, interfere with the development of speech? No one has ever seen that problem. So, there is no research support that using these is risky in terms of the eventual development of speech.

Andy Bondy, PhD 


PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System, which is used to encourage communication. It was developed by Andy Bondy and his wife, Lori Frost. PECS may seem self-explanatory with implementation, but there are very systematic ways to use PECS in order to reach the optimal potential for increasing communication skills. Andy Bondy will begin by describing the pyramid approach to education, how to encourage communication and the advantages of using PECS. He will explain six phases of implementing PECS that each builds off of the previous phase. It’s also important to know that PECS should facilitate a modality transition towards speech development; it does not replace speech development. However, this transition can be difficult. Andy Bondy will discuss ways to do this successfully, provide extensive research, video examples, and detailed steps. 

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward 

1.     Given the 6 phases of PECS, you will be able to 

  • list the components of each phase; 

  • describe an example of how to implement PECS at each phase level; 

  • describe at least four considerations when transitioning to a new modality. 

2.     With a complete list and description of evidence-based research using PECS, you will be able to 

  • identify two advantages of using PECS; 

  • explain three misconceptions of PECS; 

  • describe two research studies using PECS. 


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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