Thumbnail Image

Training parents to implement the Picture Exchange Communication System via telehealth and behavioural skills training

Research indicates that deficits in functional communication skills correlate with problem behaviour. Results from previous studies suggests that by teaching functional communication skills to an individual, it may be possible to replace problem behaviour with more socially appropriate means of communicating their needs and wishes. The primary aim of the current study was to investigate whether parents could be trained to implement the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) effectively with their adolescent son, Jack (pseudonym), who has an intellectual disability. The effectiveness of telehealth to administer PECS training was evaluated in conjunction with the use of behavioural skills training. Additionally, errors made by the parents in their use of PECS during training sessions where the researcher provided them with prompts were also examined. The secondary aim of the study was to investigate the effect of the aforementioned PECS training on the functional communication skills of Jack in the home environment. The most significant findings of the current study were that telehealth was a viable method of teaching PECS to parents, that parents made fewer errors for subsequent sessions within each phase, and that a greater number of errors were made in the role of communicative partner compared to physical prompter during Phase One. Results of the study also suggest that the intervention resulted in increased functional communication skills for Jack; namely the emergence of mands for particular toys and for making requests for the continuation of activities he enjoyed.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.