Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Paper Session #475
Teaching Tacts to Individuals With ASD
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
217B (CC)
Area: AUT
Keyword(s): Tacts
Chair: Michael Voltaire (Nova Southeastern University)

The Effects of Words, Paired With Corresponding Visual Stimuli, on Tact Acquisition in Persons Exhibiting Echolalia

Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL VOLTAIRE (Nova Southeastern University)

Typically developing children learn words by virtue of being in a social environment where those words are spoken. Conversely, children diagnosed win autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may not be able to label (tact) common objects embedded in their immediate environment. Skinner (1957) considered the tact to be an important verbal operant and defined it as a response evoked (or at least strengthened) by a particular object or event or property of an object or event. Therefore, Tact training has been an important component of language teaching for persons diagnosed with autism. This presentation will review the findings of the effects of words, paired with corresponding visual stimuli, on tact acquisition in persons diagnosed with ASD and exhibiting immediate echolalia. The presentation will also highlight a method used in data collection and discuss the potential benefits of a training procedure for teaching basic words to persons with severe communication deficits.


Teaching Spontaneous Tacting to Learners With Autism

Domain: Basic Research
MICHELLE FUHR (University Pediatrician's Autism Center), Victoria Beckmann (University Pediatricians Autism Center), Ashley Nowak (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

Tacting is a commonly taught verbal operant, which may include commenting or labeling, and occurs when a nonverbal stimulus is present. Unfortunately, tacting is typically taught in a manner which may not result in the child acquiring the desired skill spontaneously or generalizing the skill into the natural environment. A child should engage in spontaneous tacting of a nonverbal stimulus for a tact to have truly taken place. Presenters will discuss common interventions and strategies supported by B. F. Skinner's analysis as well as the literature, and discuss the use of these procedures in case studies. In addition, presenters will examine potential pitfalls with commonly used strategies of teaching tacting, including generalization, stimulus control, and reinforcement. Finally, presenters will discuss two case studies aimed to increase spontaneous tacting of two clients who demonstrate motivation to socially engage with other individuals, as evidenced by babbling, echolalia, or engaging in problem behavior as a function of attention. The clients demonstrate how spontaneous tacting can be taught to people of differing ages and functioning levels.

Keyword(s): Tacts



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