Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Second Annual Autism Conference; Atlanta, GA; 2008

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #5
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

A Clear Picture: The Use and Benefits of PECS

Saturday, February 9, 2008
10:45 AM–11:45 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Andy Bondy, Ph.D.
ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.)
Andy Bondy, Ph.D., has over 35 years of experience working with children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities. He served as the Director of the Statewide Delaware Autistic Program for more than a dozen years. He and his wife, Lori Frost, pioneered the development of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). This system is utilized around the world with remarkable success, as suggested by over 35 data-based publications and 11 descriptive publications regarding PECS and its impact. He has designed the Pyramid Approach to Education (with Beth Sulzer-Azaroff) as a comprehensive combination of broad-spectrum behavior analysis and effective communication strategies. The Pyramid Approach focuses on the development of functional activities and communication skills with an emphasis upon the systematic use of powerful reinforcement strategies. This approach has been cited as a model program for preschool and school-aged children within public and private school settings. He is the co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc., an internationally based team of specialists (with offices in 7 countries) from diverse fields providing guidance and services throughout the world. He has taught numerous college-level courses, has published extensively and has presented frequently at national and international conferences.

The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was developed over 20 years ago by Andy Bondy and Lori Frost. PECS was founded on the principles of applied behavior analysis, especially the analysis provided by BF Skinners work on Verbal Behavior. Early descriptive reports indicated that PECS was highly effective with young children with autism and related disabilities in rapidly establishing functional communication. Ongoing work with PECS has demonstrated its effectiveness with children and adults with a wide array of communication deficits. Research from around the world continues to document the success of this program in terms of the speed of acquisition, and its positive impact upon behavior management issues, social skills, and the development and expansion of speech. Reports from recent reviews and international conference presentations indicate that PECS is extremely popular and has very high social validity ratings from parents and professionals. This talk will outline the key elements of the PECS protocol, how it can best be implemented at school, home and in the community, and common mistakes that may undermine the utility of the system.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and/or Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: N/a



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