Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2015

Faculty Advisor(s)

Steven Schandler


The increasing diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) each year affect many families worldwide and are a major concern to therapists, healthcare workers, and educators. Many children diagnosed with ASD will never go on to develop functional speech or will have limited communication, as well as impaired social-communication skills. Limited communication makes education and therapy difficult for these children and their caregivers. Language therapy and interventions aim to improve social-communication and speech in these children, so it is crucial to find the most efficient interventions. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a common tool used to assist communication in children with ASD and has shown improvements in language. The current study compared PECS to other communication interventions and hypothesized that PECS would be superior in facilitating social-communication skills and improving language in children with ASD. This study reviewed current literature and found considerable support and refutation of the hypothesis. However, most studies consistently showed that PECS improved social-communication skills and language in children to some degree. Future research should seek to compare interventions that target social-communication skills and language so that families, therapists, and educators can begin to implement the most efficient intervention as soon as possible, since early intervention is crucial to the development of a child with ASD.


Presented at the Spring 2015 Student Research Day at Chapman University.