Observing Tacting Increases Uninstructed Tacts in Children with Autism
The effects of observing an adult emitting tacts on children’s rate of uninstructed (i.e., “spontaneous”) tacts were examined in three children diagnosed with autism. Each participant was exposed to two conditions in four settings each: in condition 1, participants received 20 trials of teacher-initiated interactions in which the child was asked to tact 20 objects during 5 min. Condition 2 was identical to condition 1 except that the teacher also tacted 20 objects interspersed with the 20 tact trials. The number of uninstructed tacts was recorded in both conditions. Children emitted between 1.58 and 2.68 times more uninstructed tacts in condition 2 than in condition 1. These results indicate that teachers’ emission of tacts increases the emission of uninstructed tacts in children with autism.