Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Robbie Hanson


Numerous studies have evaluated the effectiveness of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Rosales & Marin-Avelino, 2022). However, there remains limited research that indicates the same effectiveness for adults (Rosales & Marin-Avelino, 2022). The purpose of the current study was to examine the use of Phase I of PECS to increase communication with an adult with ASD and developmental disabilities. Prior to intervention, the participant independently exchanged picture icons 0% of opportunities. Following intervention, the participant reached mastery criterion for independently exchanging picture icons across preferred items. Additional data showed that the participant actively engaged with items once received, providing support that icon exchanges corresponded to motivating operations. The results show preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of PECS for adults and for the adherence to the PECS protocol.