Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Xin, Joy


Picture Exchange Communication System; Autistic children--Education; Behavior therapy for children


Special Education and Teaching


The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an augmentative communication system used for children with autism and social-communication disorders.

Self-management is an intervention extensively documented for its effectiveness to improve behavior. Self-management programs typically involve some combination of two or more of the following strategies: self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and positive reinforcement. With limited knowledge of growth in self-management techniques among autistic children, the study of PECS and its influence on self-management may be a beneficial technique to increase appropriate behavior/classroom management.

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the decrease of impulsive behaviors while teaching self-management skills to children with autism through the use of the Picture Exchange Communication System. Two students with autism in a self-contained classroom participated in the study. A multiple-baseline design was used and behavior observations were conducted across baseline, intervention and generalization phases.

The results showed consistent evidence that the Picture Exchange Communication System increases self-management skills while decreasing impulsive behaviors of children with autism. Though evidence was consistent, results will vary due to the nature of autism and inconsistencies in behavior.