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Anal Verbal Behav. 2000;17:89-104.

Using intraverbal prompts to establish tacts for children with autism.


Some children with autism have difficulty acquiring tacts, despite their ability to mand, echo words, and imitate actions. The current study focused on 2 nonvocal children who had acquired a few mands using sign language, but had repeatedly failed to acquire signed tacts. Two procedures were compared to determine the most effective approach for training tacts to these participants. One procedure (the standard condition) used the general verbal prompt "What is that?" The other procedure (the intraverbal condition) used a specific intraverbal prompt "Sign [spoken word]." The results showed that both participants acquired nonimitative verbal responses during the intraverbal condition but not during the standard condition. One participant demonstrated complete transfer to pure tacts, and the other participant showed a partial transfer to pure tacts. These results have implications for the design of language intervention programs for children with autism who have difficulty acquiring tacts.


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