The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) on the development of functional communication skills in four preschool children with autism. The students involved in this study were enrolled in two preschool disabilities-autism classrooms. The classrooms were very similar in the routine and schedule they followed in addition to the teaching and behavioral techniques that were used with each student. Three students were pretested in September 1998, the fourth student was pretested in November 1998. All four students were posttested in March 1999 to measure their individual growth in the use of functional communication skills. A visual inspection of the data collected revealed that overall, all of the students in the study had developed some functional communication skills that would allow them to appropriately communicate their basic wants and needs. The degree of mastery of these skills varied from student to student based on their developmental and functioning levels
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