Effects of Generalized Imitation Training on Functional Speech Acquisition During Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Training
The current literature regarding the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) demonstrates that some children diagnosed with autism acquire speech or gain increases in speech during PECS training; however, the current research base has several limitations. There is a lack of research regarding possible explanations for those speech gains, including possible pre-requisite skills for speech acquisition or procedures that can account for speech acquisition. Some research suggests a link between imitation (both motor and vocal) and language acquisition. The current study will examine whether children with a generalized motor imitative repertoire are more likely to develop speech during PECS training than children without a generalized imitative repertoire.