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A Picture´s Worth
PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism, Second Edition
Andy Bondy, Ph.D. & Lori Frost, M.S., CCC-SLP


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isbn# 978-1-60613-015-5
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
146 pages

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"This updated edition of the 2002 visual communication primer by behavior analyst Bondy and speech pathologist Frost covers communication difficulties experienced by children with autism and related disorders as well as methods that can be used to teach them to communicate. The authors reintroduce parents and educators to their Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and other communication strategies based on new research. In addition to their presentation of alternative communication systems, they include information on tools that can be used to implement the systems, such as their timely discussion of how the iPad and iPod Touch can be used as an inexpensive but high-tech communication aid. The authors include stories about children they have worked with to demonstrate real-world applications of their methods. Finally, they discuss how visual strategies can help children meet such challenges as schedule following, waiting, and dealing with transitions.
Verdict The authors provide practical information in a convenient format that parents and professionals can follow step by step. The writing is clear and concise and even humorous and touching at times. Highly recommended for anyone who works with children or even adults with autism."
-Library Journal Xpress Reviews, September 29, 2011

"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."
-From The Critics
Reviewer: Linda Marie Bland-Stewart, Ph.D. (George Washington University)

"In this new edition, Bondy and Frost have incorporated the latest theories and research on autism and communication. Being co-developers of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), they are positioned to share their knowledge and experience. Because the book is written in an easy, conversational tone, it is well suited for parents as well as health professionals and teachers. Chapter summaries are included and other sources are cited throughout for further reading."
-CAPHIS Consumer Connections

"This book is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to learn about communicating with a child with autism, and/or considering PECS. The writing is clear and concise, the sections are short, and the headings are bold and easy to find. Each chapter uses examples of real children to illustrate the main points and processes. Weighing in at under 150 pages, it can be read cover to cover in an afternoon, or you can take advantage of its outstanding organization to read it bit by bit in no particular order. Andy Bondy and Lori Frost have accomplished an admirable feat by making up-to-date research and practice easily accessible to the busy parent."
-Newsline, Winter 2012 (Federation for Children with Special Needs)

"Bondy and Frost have provided an invaluable resource for every ASD library. Practical, easy to read, and well supported by research, this book provides comprehensive how-to guidelines for providing visual supports to enhance the expression and understanding of critical communication exchanges."
-Kathleen Dyer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCBA-D, Associate Clinical Professor, Division of Communication Disorders, Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts and Clinical Director, River Street Autism Program at Coltsville in Hartford, Connecticut

"This comprehensive step-by-step guide provides clear ways to use visual methods to help families empower their children to use effective communication. This edition has been updated to reflect cutting edge research and includes state-of-the-art strategies for using the latest technologies. A must-read book for any parent or professional hoping to help children with autism communicate more effectively."
-Aubyn Stahmer, Ph.D., Research Director, Autism Discovery Institute, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, California

"A child literally bangs her head against a wall in frustration. She wants something, but can’t seem to tell anyone what it is. Her mother gently but firmly pulls her into her arms to protect her little girl as her heart aches. It’s not an unheard of scene in the autism community. And it’s one that strengthens anew a parent’s resolve to find a way to better communicate with their child who has autism.

"Communication is perhaps the most important skill you can teach a child. A Picture's Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism is a guide to helping one's autistic child better grasp communication through PECS, the picture exchange communication system, an easy to use system that help an autistic child grasp communication at a higher level. A Picture's Worth is a strong pick for educators and parents who want to work the PECS system into a child's education, highly recommended."
Library Bookwatch, November 2011

In their book A Picture’s Worth, Dr. Andy Bondy and Lori Frost explain the Picture Exchange Communication System, which assists children with autism in sharing their thoughts and needs. Better communication promotes richer relationships for everyone, as well as greater safety and increased comfort for the child. Bondy and Frost offer parents (and teachers and therapists) realistic hope that better communication may be possible as well as practical advice for how to achieve that goal.

The authors detail the communication system they created, in which children use pictures to help them communicate. They share how and when to train a child in this system. They explain the training process, how to evaluate results, and how to gradually increase the richness of the communication. As they do so, they are hopeful, but clear and realistic about expectations for results. Along the way, they allow plenty of room for differences between children, celebrate even small successes, and encourage continued growth. And throughout, they share plenty of true-to-life stories that highlight the struggles and joys of working with children who have communication challenges.

Bondy is a behavior analyst while Frost is a speech/language pathologist. Their various specialties merge seamlessly to provide a comprehensive understanding of the needs of children with autism. They’ve been working with such children and their families for years. Their sensitivity, expertise, and insights shine through on every page.

While the stories included draw the reader in, the book does sound a bit like a textbook at times. But that’s minimal and to be expected in a manual as instructional as this one. Generally, the authors provide solid, easy-to understand advice that anyone can follow. They are clear that every child is different and that no single strategy will work in every situation, or work to the same extent. Nevertheless, A Picture’s Worth offers a shining light for parents and teachers looking for a way to break through barriers and enrich relationships with their children."
-ForeWord Reviews, September 2011

"Andy Bondy and Lori Frost, well-known creators of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), have updated their popular book first published approximately 12 years ago. This book provides a concise, but thorough, introduction to a variety of visual communication strategies, with an emphasis on PECS. The first four chapters review communication and the relationship between communication and behavior. The fifth chapter, written by Canadians Pat Miranda and Brenda Fossett, provides an overview of a variety of low-and high-tech augmentative and alternative communication systems. New to this edition is information on current (at the time of publication) advances in technology, such as iPhone and IPad 'apps' that did not exist when the first edition was published. The sixth and seventh chapters provide an overview of the six phases of PECS. In addition to explaining the structure, the authors do a nice job addressing commonly asked questions, such as 'What is the relationship between PECS and speech development?' and 'should PECS be abandoned once a child begins to speak?' they also provide troubleshooting advice for the most frequently made mistakes when implementing PECS. Finally, although the book is primarily focused on expressive language, the final (eighth) chapter introduces PECS in relation to receptive language.

The authors take care to incorporate evidence from up-to-date research into the book, which is written in clear language, easily accessible for both parents and professionals. Interesting and relevant vignette, picures, and tables provide context for the reader and highlight key points. Information on potential resources, including web addresses, is also provided, although these resources are specific to the United States.

Importantly, although this book does provide a nice amount of detail and description on communication strategies and PECS in particular, it is not a training manual. As such, it is not intended as a supplement for specific training in PECS and other functional communication strategies.

This book is an excellent resources to introduce occupational therapists, other professionals, and parents to visual communication strategies, including PECS for people with autism or related developmental disabilities. The authors' relevant clinical experiences and dedication to people with autism, their parents, and other caregivers are apparent throughout the book and through their commendable efforts to make this topic interesting accessible to a wide audience."
-Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy

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