Teaching Children with Autism to Tact Stimuli from Auditory and Tactile Sensory Modalities
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A number of contemporary investigations have examined tact-training procedures with a number of different populations, specifically with children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (e.g., Barbera & Kubina, 2005; Kelley, Shillingsburg, Castro, Addison, & LaRue, 2007; Stevens, Sidener, Reeves, & Sidener, 2005). All of the studies, however, have focused on teaching individuals to tact visual stimuli (2-D and 3-D), despite clinical recommendations to teach tacts of stimuli in other sensory modalities (Sundberg & Partington, 1998). In the current study, two children with autism were taught to tact auditory and tactile stimuli. The effectiveness of teaching the stimuli in isolation (e.g., auditory and tactile stimuli presented with no visual cues) and as compound stimuli (i.e., a toy that produced the auditory stimulus and an object covered in the tactile stimulus) was compared. Results indicate that while both teaching methods may be effective, using compound stimuli when teaching auditory and tactile tacts interfered with learners’ prior tact repertoires.