Background: The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a widely accepted way to develop the communication skills of children with developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the efficacy of PECS has been largely studied in Western societies and little research is available regarding its role in the development of children with ASD in a non-Western cultural context. The purpose of this study was to compare the parent and the practitioner perceptions of the use of PECS for children with ASD in the United Arab Emirates. Method: A new scale made up of three subscales was used to collect the data from the parents and the practitioners who were either related to or working with a cohort of children with ASD. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and subjected to the computation of means, t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), binary logistical regression, and two-way factorial ANOVA. Results: The results showed uncertainty or neutrality among the parents and the practitioners toward the use of PECS. Variables such as age, years of experience using PECS, and gender were noted to influence perceptions of PECS. Conclusion: The need for policymakers to consider developing regular training for parents and practitioners on the use of PECS and other implications are discussed.
- United Arab Emirates
- autism spectrum disorder
- neurodevelopmental disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health