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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W51
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Implementing the PECS Protocol to Teach Functional SGD Use
Saturday, May 23, 2015
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
217D (CC)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Andy Bondy, Ph.D.
ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants), ANNE OVERCASH (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.)
Description: High-tech Speech Generating Devices (SGD) are being used more frequently with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While research is expanding on the use of various communication apps on smart tablets, many recent publications are frought with procedural and logical problems. There are no standard protocols established regarding how to teach the use of an SGD. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an evidence-based protocol. This workshop will review the key elements that are necessary to demonstrate that the use of an SGD would qualify as verbal behavior (Skinner, 1957) and which teaching issues, especially regarding discrimination, should be incorporated into training protocols. We will briefly review the main components of the PECS protocol and review how to best transition users to an SGD. We will review published guidenlines (Frost and McGowan, 2012) identifying key variables that may influence successful transitioning. We will review recent studies looking at the effectiveness of either attempting to begin communication training with an SGD or how to effectively transition from PECS. Participants are encouraged to bring either an SGD or an app for a tablet to actively practice key transitional steps including how to identify SGD features that may influence learning.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants should be able to: (1) describe key elements to demonstrate verbal behavior via SGD use; (2) describe key elements of the PECS protocol; (3) describe assessment targets to transition from PECS to an SGD; and (4) describe how to evaluate functional use of an SGD.
Activities: Review of recent literature regarding SGD use, review PECS protocol, review published guidelines on how to effectively transition from PECS to SGD, review videos demonstrating effective use and potential problems with transitions, and review how to transition from PECS to SGDs and/or tablet apps brought to workshop by participants.
Audience: Anyone working with current users of PECS or with individuals for whom an SGD or tablet app is being considered. This may include behavior analysts, speech/language pathologists, teachers or others involved with communication training with children and adults with disabilities including ASD.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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