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ERIC Number: EJ980649
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8855
The Emergence of Untrained Mands and Tacts in Children with Autism
Finn, Heather E.; Miguel, Caio F.; Ahearn, William H.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, v45 n2 p265-280 Sum 2012
Despite Skinner's (1957) assertion that verbal operants are initially functionally independent, recent studies have suggested that in some cases the acquisition of one verbal operant (e.g., mand) gives rise to the other (e.g., tact) without explicit training. The present study aimed to evaluate the functional independence of mands and tacts during instruction with children with autism. Four boys with autism (3 to 6 years old) were taught to construct two 4-piece structures. Two participants were taught directly to mand, whereas the other 2 were taught to tact the names of the pieces. The effects of training were evaluated in a multiple probe design across verbal operants and tasks. Three of the 4 participants demonstrated an immediate transfer of control from 1 verbal operant to the other. These results were consistent with previous research with typically developing young children. (Contains 5 figures.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Department of Applied Behavioral Science. Kansas University, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045-2133. Tel: 785-841-4425; Fax: 785-841-4425; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test