Thirty-four children, with autism spectrum disorders, ages 4–14 years, were matched and randomly assigned to one of two conditions for learning a novel juice-making task and producing two novel words about the event. Seventeen sighted children were manually guided to perform the task and tactually prompted during imitated productions of novel words for the event. Their matched controls heard the novel words and watched the juice-making task being performed. Performances on four verbal and two nonverbal measures right after instruction and at 24–48 h post-instruction, revealed higher scores for the “hands-on”, participation than observation group on both verbal and nonverbal tasks. This study offers a paradigm for exploring the instructional advantage of enhanced participatory experience.