Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Arts in Education (MA)

MA Concentration

Special Education


Autism Spectrum Disorder, PECS, socio-dramatic play, initiations.


Linda Haymes, Pamela A. Redmond


Social and language deficits are a hallmark for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research has shown that early intervention prior to age six is crucial for developing social and language skills. Dramatic play is a language-enriched activity that is used for teaching social language skills for typically developing children as well as children with autism. The literature suggests that many individuals with ASD have difficulty with social communication, which may result in difficulties with social participation. Thus, there is a need for intervention techniques targeting this area. Using an AB design across all three participants, this study examined the effectiveness of using Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) during socio-dramatic playtime to improve social communication for students with ASD. Following intervention, all participants improved the number of positive initiations and responses they had during socio-dramatic playtime with peers and adults. The results of this study suggest that the PECS intervention can be effective in increasing social communication skills during socio-dramatic play for individuals with ASD.