Newsline Volume 32, Number 3

Book Reviews

Reviewed by Gavin Pond
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A Picture's Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism, Second Edition
By Andy Bondy, PhD, and Lori Frost, M.S., CCC-SLP • Woodbine House 2011. 143 pp.

A Picture’s Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism, Second EditionIn A Picture's Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism, Second Edition, Andy Bondy and Lori Frost update a popular handbook on the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and other visual communication strategies for children with autism who have significant communication difficulties. The first four chapters offer concise, jargon-free explanations of how communication works, and how it relates to behavior. These chapters are an excellent reference for any busy parent. They are very brief, with straightforward language and examples to aid understanding, and each chapter ends with a list of excellent resources for continued learning. The fifth chapter, on "Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems," covers the practical physical tools to use with children who struggle to form or understand speech. This chapter has been thoroughly revised to include the latest relevant technology (including iPhone and iPad apps) alongside their low-tech alternatives. The remaining chapters offer a step-by-step guide to PECS, including how to decide whether it is right for your child.

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. The section that discusses PECS goes step by step chronologically, and explains important points close to the relevant step. There are also loads of tables, illustrations, and pictures. 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.


Woodbine House has donated a copy of this book to the Federation. Call 617-236-7210, to borrow the copy. Learn about other Woodbine House selections at