'Tact' is a type of language whereby a speaker names things, actionsor attributes in the immediate physical environment around them, and hasdirect contact with them throughout any of their senses ie taste,touch, sight, sound. For example, if a child says cat when they see acat, or says my stomach hurts when they have a tummy ache, this is atact.
It can be easier to remember the word tact if you think about it as in having 'contact' with your sense and environment.
The tact and children
Thereare many non-verbal stimuli in a child's environment which they musteventually learn to tact, such as toys, common objects, people's names,.
Non-verbal stimuli can be;
- as simple as a shoe
- as complex as a cancerous cell
- observable or unobservable (for eg, pain)
- subtle or salient (for eg, neon lights).
Giventhe number of verbal and non-verbal stimuli there are it is no surprisethat this is a major area of exploration in behaviour analysis.
Asimple example of exploring whether a child can tact would be to pointto an object such as, a shoe and ask them 'what is this?' If the childis able to answer correctly, they are showing a tact skill. As childrenget older their tact repertoire develops and becomes more complex.