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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #414
CE Offered: BACB
The Unusual Suspects: Myths and Misconceptions About the Picture Exchange Communication System
Monday, May 31, 2010
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Kimberly Berens, Ph.D.
Chair: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Presenting Authors: : ANDREW S. BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
Abstract: The first presentations about the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) were offered at ABAI conventions in 1987. The foundation for the system and its teaching protocol are found in Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior. Since that time, research and interest about PECS has expanded significantly—at the 2009 convention there were 15 papers and posters about and involving PECS. Publications about the system and its protocol also have increased notably with over 60 publications worldwide. Despite this popularity—or perhaps because of this popularity—myths and misconceptions about PECS and its use abound. These range from early questions, such as “Can we do PECS and applied behavior analysis?” to recent comments such as, “You can’t do PECS and verbal behavior.” While there is an emphasis upon manding early in the protocol, practitioners often do not move toward tacting and intraverbal use. There also are ongoing concerns about the relationship between PECS and speech development, including confusion about what augmentative communication effects are all about. We will review these and other concerns about PECS and its use.
ANDREW S. BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
Andrew S. Bondy, Ph.D. has over 40 years experience working with children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities. He served for over twelve years as the Director of the Delaware Autistic Program. He has taught numerous university level courses for teachers and specialists regarding autism, behavior analysis, curriculum design, effective instruction, and functional communication training. He has presented regional, national, and international workshops concerning educational, behavioral, and communicative issues pertaining to preschool children through adults with autism.



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