Agius, M. & Vance, M. (2015). A comparison of PECS and iPad to teach requesting to pre-schoolers with autistic spectrum disorders.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Nov 20, 1-11.
Abstract: Few studies have compared the efficacy of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and iPads used as speech generating devices (SGDs), and none have targeted preschoolers. This study compares the relative efficacy of PECS and an iPad/SGD with three preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder and limited functional speech who lived in Malta. The study utilized an adapted alternating treatment design embedded in a multiple baseline design, with requesting of reinforcers as the dependent variable. Visual analysis of the results indicated that all participants required more prompted trials and sessions for the iPad/SGD condition. All participants learned a three step navigational sequence on the iPad. Participant preference probes were inconclusive and were not linked to speed of acquisition of requesting skills. Results suggest that both PECS and an iPad could be appropriate for teaching requesting skills to beginning communicators.

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