Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Rehabilitation

First Advisor

Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne

Abstract

The picture exchange communication system (PECS) is a functional communication system frequently used with individuals diagnosed with autism (Frost & Bondy, 2002). Few empirical investigations have evaluated staff training procedures to train staff how to teach consumers to use PECS, and none have been published to date on training staff to promote the use of PECS outside of the training environment. Using a multiple probe design the current investigation evaluated staff training procedures for teaching Phases 1-3 of PECS to adults with autism spectrum disorders, with direct care staff. Typical staff training procedures resulted in little improvement from baseline performances for each participant. Performance following behavioral skills training improved significantly, approaching mastery criterion levels.

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