Psychology with a Concentration in Developmental Disabilities/ Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is often portrayed as a dark and lonely disorder primarily because children with autism do not communicate effectively. Parents, teachers, and therapists seek to bring light to these children’s world by teaching them to communicate, yet there is no clear answer for the most effective method for teaching communication skills to autistic individuals. The current study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of Sign Language, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and Total Communication on the development of communication skills in autistic children. We located eleven studies, and the effect sizes were computed for each communication method. The average weighted effect size for sign language was d = 3.13, for total communication d = 4.87, and for PECS d = 2.54. Although all methods were effective, the most effective method for developing communication with autistic children was total communication.