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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Linda Marie Bland-Stewart, Ph.D.(George Washington University)
Description: This book is a worthwhile venture that will provide current therapeutic techniques using of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and other visual communication strategies for children who are diagnosed with autism.
Purpose: The major aim is to provide information on the value of PECS, which is described as an easy to understand pictorial system to be used as a communication tool by children who are autistic. Children who do not have verbal language need to express their wants and needs. The PECS system offers a means to achieve functional communication for this population. This needed book guides the reader through theory of how autism disrupts the communication process and comprehensively offers a visual communication system that appears highly effective.
Audience: The book is reader friendly and can be used by a parent, educator, or practitioner. As a professor and private clinician working with this population, I found it informative and easy to read. As the author promised, it is applicable to all whom may be in need of a way to assist autistic children in communicating their wants and needs.
Features: This book comprehensively covers the communicative process and what happens when this process is not achieved verbally. It presents augmentative strategies to facilitate functional communication for children who are diagnosed with autism. Although the chapter on augmentative communication provides a general overview of alternative systems, the primary thrust of the book is to explain and detail the PECS. PECS is an initial language training package that is use to teach communication skills to those with limited functional speech. The case studies and personal vignettes are great.
Assessment: This book is easy to read and the system easy to apply to clients. I tried some of the techniques and found them to be highly effective with a 3-year-old nonverbal client. Bravo! This book is a keeper. It is a gem for individuals in need of a system or starting place for this population.