PECS and Speech Generating Devices: A Comparision Study
A pilot community‐based randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare the effects of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to a teaching sequence using a high‐tech Speech Generating Device (SGD) to teach social communication behaviors. The two approaches were compared to evaluate the effectiveness of the newer, more high‐tech intervention using technology to improve social and communicative behavior of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A total of 35 school‐age children were randomized to either a high‐tech (SGD device) or low‐tech (PECS cards) form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Study participants received 4 months of communication training delivered in their classrooms, and the primary outcome measures of the trial were several functional communication skills emphasized in the PECS teaching sequence. Results indicated that both high‐tech and low‐tech AAC approaches resulted in significant improvements in communication, and that these improvements did not differ significantly between the two approaches.