An Investigation on the Effects of PECS and Observational Learning in Initiating and Maintenance of Communication among Children with Autism
Serhat Odluyurt, Özgül Aldemir, Alper Kapan
The purpose of this research is to identify the efficacy of PECS provided in gaining of independent communicative initiation and maintenance skills to children with autism. Population of this research consisted of six children currently receiving education and diagnosed with autism during preschool period. To implement observational learning procedure, children were grouped as pairs. To that end, during the first and second phases of PECS three autistic children received training on the skills of independent communicative initiation and maintenance. The remaining three autistic children for whom direct teaching was not the objective the objective was to measure to what extent they learned the skills they had observed. Dependent variable of this study is independent communicative initiation and maintenance. Independent variables of the study are implementing the first and second phases of PECS. In the course of interventions generalization data were collected as pre-test and post-test by different implementers and settings. Data of the research were analyzed graphically and efficacy of each single implementation showed no differentiation for the learner nor observer children at the acquisition phase. It did not differ at the phase of permanence and generalization neither. For collecting social validity data, semi-structured interviews were conducted among mothers and fathers and data were analyzed descriptively Mothers-fathers reported that both PECS and observational learning were significant for their children and that peer observation significantly contributed to children with autism.
Autism , PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) , Observational Learning , Single-Subject Design
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