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Teaching Children with Autism to Tact the Private Events of Others


We evaluated the efficacy of a most-to-least intrusive error-correction/prompting procedure for teaching 3 children with autism to tact the private events of others through publicly accompanying stimuli. Participants did not reliably demonstrate correct tact responses to publicly observable stimuli that accompany common emotions reported by others (e.g., bandage = hurt) in baseline. Procedures were taken from the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System: Direct Training Module (PEAK-DT) to aid in clinical replication, and training was introduced in a multiple-baseline design. Results showed that the procedures were efficacious in teaching this skill to each of the participants, and fast rates of acquisition were observed.

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Fig. 1


  1. Naturally, used here, refers to a change in behavior in the absence of systematic intervention to produce such a change.


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Correspondence to Mark R. Dixon.

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Mark R. Dixon discloses that he receives royalties from sales of the PEAK curriculum. All remaining authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in this study that involved human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Belisle, J., Dixon, M.R., Alholai, A. et al. Teaching Children with Autism to Tact the Private Events of Others. Behav Analysis Practice 13, 169–173 (2020).

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  • Autism
  • PEAK
  • Private events
  • Verbal behavior