The purpose of this study was to evaluate the increase of joint attention skills in young children with autism as a collateral effect of implementing the first three phases of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Four children who were diagnosed with ASD or related disabilities were selected for participation in a multiple baseline study. The dependent variables were (a) child initiated proto-declarative joint attention attempts, (b) child response to adult initiated proto-declarative joint attention attempts, (c) child initiated proto-imperative joint attention attempts, and (d) child response to proto-imperative joint attention attempts. Visual inspection was used to monitor progress across phases with periodic probes for joint attentions skills. Assessment of joint attention skills and PECS Phase acquisition were conducted at pre-treatment, post-treatment and at the one month follow-up period. Joint attention skill probes were conducted after each PECS phase acquisition. Results of this study indicate that children gained joint attention skills across all four types: Type 1: responding to request bids; Type 2 initiating request bids; Type 3 responding to show bids; and Type 4, initiating show bids for three of the four children. Joint attention skills increases for Type 1 ranged from 33-66%; for Type 2, 33-100%; for Type 3, 100%; and for Type 4, 0-33% across children. One month follow-up assessments of joint attention skills and PECS phase acquisition were conducted. All children maintained their use of PECS and joint attention skills over that time.
|Advisor:||Schwartz, Ilene S.|
|School:||University of Washington|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Special education, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||AAC, Attention deficits, Autism, Joint attention, PECS|
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