Resources: What is TAGteach?

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What is TAGteach?

TAGteach stands for Teaching with Acoustical Guidance. TAGteach is a teaching and communication method that combines positive reinforcement with an acoustical support. TAGteach is an application of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) that makes the science of positive reinforcement accessible and easy to do — for anyone!

TAGteach, like ABA, relies on breaking behavior down into small pieces, looking for desired behaviors, and giving positive reinforcement to increase those (often fleeting) moments of great behavior. With TAGteach, parents or instructors can easily teach many skills to children with autism. The goal of this blog is to share TAGteach tools and knowledge, so that you can teach the functional skills that will allow your child to do more things; with these skills, the whole family can get out and enjoy life together.

Why do Kids Love to Be Taught with TAGteach?

Because they get the opportunity to think for themselves and they are never told that they are wrong.

With TAGteach the learner is in control of his own learning. The goal behavior is broken down into tiny achievable steps. Each tiny step is called a tag point and this describes in 5 words or less exactly what the goal is for the next try. Often the learner is involved in choosing the tag point. If he gets his tag point correct, he gets a tag (click) from the teacher. If he gets it wrong, nothing happens and it is up to the child to self assess and try again. The tag is a positive reinforcer because  it is the sound of success. He knows he is progressing with the learning and his skill is growing.


TAGteach is based on the Science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Compelling scientific evidence, amassed over the last 40 years, demonstrates overwhelmingly that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a safe and effective approach for working with children with autism. ABA, done well, is fun for kids, focuses on teaching basic skills, and then building up those skills into a bigger behavior repertoire. The more functional behaviors a child can perform and the more he can do, the less frustrated he is and the more enjoyment he gets from life.

The worst thing you can do with a young autistic child is nothing … The child’s brain needs to be kept engaged with the world.”  Temple Grandin


“TAGteach has an important future in the treatment of autism and other developmental delays and this parent has shown the way.”
Joseph Morrow, PhD, BCBA-D
President, Applied Behavior Consultants
Professor of Psychology and Behavior Analysis (Emeritus)

California State University, Sacramento
Licensed Psychologist, State of California

Here I would like to give you some information about the science of ABA and about what TAGteach is.

What is ABA and Why is it so Important for Autism?

You’ve Done so Many Things to Help Your Child with Autism. Are you Ready to do TAGteach?

What if You Could Push a Button for Better Behaviors in Your Child with Autism? Impossible? With TAGteach it Can Be Done!

Click here to download the TAGteach science reference list

Here is a video to help you understand how TAGteach works. This shows a child with autism learning to go into a pool by himself. At first he needs lots of external positive reinforcement, but soon he gains confidence and the new skill becomes reinforcing on its own. He starts having fun and then he enjoys going into the pool. This is the goal of TAGteach, to teach new skills so that interaction with the world becomes reinforcing on its own and the tagger and treats are no longer required.

TAGteach is all about “more” of the good things

Finally, TAGeach is all about “more.” More tools and knowledge for parents. More positive reinforcement and success for the child. More functional skills for children with autism.  More opportunities for the family to go out together. More opportunities for the child with autism to participate in life. A better life for everyone.


Here’s an article that explains what TAGteach can do for you, the parent of a child with autism:


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2 thoughts to “Resources: What is TAGteach?”

  1. My wife and i adopted our grandson Adam when he was 1 !/2 years old. We have been his primary care givers since birth since his parents were unable to care and provide for Adam. We have received our autism spectrum diagnosis almost a year ago and have been receiving speech and physical therapy since Adam is non verbal. But can he sure hit the soul piercing squeel! We are interested in your TAG approach and look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Hello Cory,

      Thank you for your comment on the Chaos to Calm blog. You and your wife are very generous and loving to adopt your grandson with autism and seek out care for him. The issue you mention, the ear piercing squeals, is a common one for children with autism.

      TAGteach is an excellent approach to help increase productive behaviors in children with autism. The steps you have already taken with speech and physical therapy are excellent. Do you and your wife have access to behavioral therapy for Adam? Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the recommended therapeutic approach for persons with autism. When my son was little, there was no access to this service, but that has changed in recent years. You may have access to ABA via your health insurance or via a state program. It is very helpful to have access to an experienced autism professional, a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst), to help you now and in the future. Adam would benefit tremendously from an intensive early intervention program.

      The goal of TAGteach is to teach skills and increase productive behaviors via positive reinforcement. There is no punishment with TAGteach. The primary tool of TAGteach is the acoustical signal, the “click” or “tag”, which really is a type of “notification” signal. It tells the child, “Hey, you just did a good thing. Now a treat is coming. Do that good thing again!”

      The incredibly significant feature of the “tag” is that is conveys precise information to the child without the interference and confusion of the human voice. Many people are unaware that children with autism often have trouble processing human speech; many even find human speech to be unpleasant, so they try to tune it out. Talking just doesn’t work for these kids. So how do you communicate with Adam? With the tag and positive reinforcement. With patience, practice, and persistence, children can become more comfortable with speech; however, this can take years. In the meantime, the child still needs to learn important skills, and the family has to be able to support the child during difficult behavior episodes.

      There are many free resources on the TAGteach International and Chaos to Calm websites to help you get started.

      Please see the main page of the Chaos to Calm blog at and go to the Resource Pages. You will find articles there to help you get started and with suggestions for addressing common problems such as verbal stimming and screaming; see

      To learn more about TAGteach, please see the free online TAGteach Fundamentals course at Any professionals you are working with are also more than welcome to take this course.

      The TAGteach for Autism Parents free video course is available here:

      In the links at the bottom of this email, please see the free ebook on Behavior Basics, plus other links. If you, or your wife, are on Facebook, we have a special group for parents and professionals who use TAGteach for autism and other special needs. You are most welcome to join:

      There is an active and constantly growing community of people who are implementing TAGteach very successfully with learners with autism.

      I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information. Please let me know what other questions you have. The TAGteach community is eager to support you, your wife, and little Adam.

      Best wishes,


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