This study sought to investigate two Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems used in language therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This study used quantitative research through a survey to examine Speech-Language Pathologists’ (SLPs) and caregivers’ of children with ASD perceived effectiveness of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and sign language as modes of communication for children with ASD. The survey used in this study was developed via the online software Qualtrics. The researcher gathered email addresses through Google searches of autism centers across the United States. Emails were sent to autism centers, along with SLPs who were recruited from a postings to Special Interest Group (SIG) 12 [Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)] of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and two Community Boards of the ASHA (“Research” and “SLPs in Schools”). The results of this study found that PECS is often preferred over sign language based on qualitative responses from participants stating that PECS is more “universally understood” and based on quantitative data. The most important information gained from this study was that teaching communication to children with ASD is crucial, and that the choice of communication mode for children with ASD is highly dependent on the individual patient.


Goldberg, Donald

Second Advisor

Atay, Ahmet


Communication Studies


Arts and Humanities


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and sign language.

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2017 Anne R. Spector