The A-Word, Part 22: Tacting and Joint Attention


After six months of ABA therapy, Jack Riley has become significantly more vocal. He now consistently labels items and mands. In this epidode, we observe as Jack Riley tacts with joint attention, which is a major accomplishment as lack of joint attention is a key identifying sign of autism.

Mand: A request for a reinforcer, including food, objects, people, attention, actions, locations, cessation.
Tact: A comment. For example, the child sees a plane and says “Plane”; the child hears a dog and says “I hear a dog barking.
Joint Attention: Joint attention refers to the capacity to coordinate attention between an object in the environment and a social partner. Joint attention is a social interaction, the intent being to direct another person’s attention to an object or event of interest, specifically for the purpose of sharing the experience, as opposed to gaining assistance with or access to the item or event.




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