PECS or Signing with ASD Students?

An interesting but way too short blog on PECS and Chomsky

talking tools

I went to a conference a while back and one of the guest speakers was a behaviour analyst Dr Vincent Carbone. Excellent speaker, although his description of language may have raised the eyebrows of Noam Chomsky students. As a behaviour analyst he is obviously strongly influenced by B.F. Skinners 1957 book ‘Verbal Behavior’. (Chomsky reviews the book at

When talking about augmenting communication in ASD students he had some really interesting arguments with regard to using signing rather than PECS (picture exchange communication system) – the basic argument was that signing is must closer to natural communication and quoted the deaf community as an example -i.e. why is there a whole community of signers out there but not picture exchangers? – signing is much more efficient system, more flexible and much closer to spoken language.

Any thoughts or experiences in using PECS and/or signing with ASD students?

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