Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 20, 114-120.

Abstract : The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is used to systematically teach functional communication through an evidence-based protocol. As a low-tech AAC system, PECS differs from many treatment protocols in that the learner must give a picture or a sequence of pictures to a communicative partner, thus ensuring social approach and interaction. Students who have mastered Phase IV of the PECS protocol and use a large, categorized vocabulary and sentence structure are candidates for transition to a speech generating devise (SGD). When choosing the SGD, the transition team has an ethical responsibility to ensure that the PECS user does not lose current communication abilities, such as independent access, initiation and efficiency of interactions, and sentence structure and length across environments. With careful assessment of SGD features, the clinician can select a device to replicate current PECS skills and allow for language growth. The use of relevant training strategies from the PECS protocol will help the clinician ensure a successful transition to and use of the SGD.