Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Lennette Ivy

Relational Format



This study had two main purposes. The first purpose was to determine which communicative treatment approach: Total Communication (TC) or the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was more effective in increasing the vocabulary growth of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The second purpose of this study was to determine which approach was preferred by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to increase vocabulary growth. In order to address the first research question for this study, two preschool age (3-5 year old) children enrolled in speech-language therapy at the University of Mississippi Speech and Hearing Center were selected as participants. In order to address the second research question for this study, 25 experienced SLPs were selected as participants. Due to the fact this was a small case study carried out with only two participants, it was unclear as to which approach was the most effective for increasing vocabulary growth. However, results showed an increase in initiated conversation for both participants with a greater increase using the TC approach. The results from the questionnaire, on the other hand, indicated that the SLP respondents believed the PECS approach to be more effective in increasing vocabulary growth of children with ASD than the TC approach.

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