Will I be treating my child like a dog if I use TAGteach?

dogsThis is a fair question. On the surface, Teaching with Acoustical Guidance (TAGteach), a method where you use an audible event marker signal (a click) and a reinforcer to teach a human a behavior, sounds very similar to the popular and effective clicker training method used with dogs, dolphins, killer whales and other animals. From a scientific and technical standpoint, the methods are similar.

Both methods are based on the scientific, research-validated fact that a behavior that is reinforced will occur more often. TAGteach has been used successfully in many teaching and training applications with humans, including elite level gymnastics, orthopedic surgeons, fishing boats in the Bering Sea, speech therapy, professional golf instruction, main stream classrooms and special education classrooms, among others. Turns out, TAGteach is also a wonderful way to teach kids with autism.

The TAGteach work with orthopedic surgeons was featured in the Scientific American blog and published in a major orthopedic surgery journal. In other published studies TAGteach was found to be effective for teaching adult golf, high school football players and children with autism.

TAGteach is recommended by many leading experts as an effective and science-based approach for teaching children with autism. TAGteach research results have been presented at the Association for Behavior Analysis conferences 48 times between 2004-2016.

Typical kids

Parents of typically developing children can teach their children with verbal instructions and modeling:  “Put your socks on first, then your shoes,” “This is how you slice a sandwich.”  These children watch, listen, copy and learn. They understand language, they speak, and they respond to verbal praise. It’s wonderful and magical to see how much they can learn at an early age.

Kids with autism

Our kids with autism are different. They have language, communication, and sensory problems, to name a few. Even those children who can speak, often do not comprehend instructions, or they cannot respond appropriately to the instructions. (more…)