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  • Writer's pictureCircles of Communication

All About PROMPT

PROMPT, or Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, is renowned for being an effective approach to treating a wide array of communication needs. We are often asked whether PROMPT could be a compliment to a client’s existing goals, and the answer is, it depends! This month we are providing a brief overview of PROMPT and some key considerations when determining whether it could be right for your learner! 

PROMPT is highly regarded for its ability to provide tactile-kinesthetic cues, aiding individuals in developing and refining their speech production skills. PROMPT-trained speech-language pathologists use their fingers to create a motor map of each sound directly on a client’s mouth, manipulating the articulators (mouth parts required for speech) to make the exact movements necessary to achieve sounds. 

PROMPT cues fade from the highest level of support to the lowest level of support, depending on a client’s needs and progress. These cues are gentle and respectful, acknowledging the unique sensory preferences and needs of each individual. By incorporating these tactile-kinesthetic prompts, PROMPT promotes a deep understanding of the movements involved in speech production, helping individuals to improve their articulation and phonological skills.

One of the key strengths of PROMPT lies in its flexibility and adaptability. It can be tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals across neurotypes, including those with autism, Down syndrome, apraxia of speech, and other neurodevelopmental differences. PROMPT can also be used in tandem with alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices as part of a multimodal communication approach. This inclusivity is central to the ethos of PROMPT, recognizing and celebrating the diversity of communication styles and abilities present within the human experience.

Moreover, PROMPT fosters a collaborative approach between therapists, individuals, and their families or support networks. By actively involving individuals in the therapy process and respecting their autonomy, PROMPT promotes a sense of goal ownership and empowerment. This collaborative model not only enhances therapy outcomes but also cultivates a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals feel valued and respected.

However, it's essential to acknowledge that while PROMPT offers many benefits, it may not be a one-size-fits-all solution. Like any therapeutic approach, PROMPT has its limitations. For some individuals, particularly those with autism and other sensory differences, the tactile-kinesthetic cues provided by PROMPT may be overwhelming or aversive. Thus, alternative strategies to support their communication needs that don’t rely on touch would be warranted. 

PROMPT does not address all aspects of communication challenges, such as receptive/expressive language and pragmatic language skills. It can be supportive for individuals who are experiencing a motor challenge that impacts their communication, and, in all cases, we recommend a multifaceted approach that integrates various therapeutic modalities.

At Circles of Communication, we always work to gain trust and establish a relationship built on respect with every client, particularly before beginning any kind of touch-based therapeutic intervention. Obtaining client consent for touch at the start of every therapy session can be a valuable way to maintain existing rapport and preserve autonomy when utilizing PROMPT as a therapeutic intervention. Amy and Arden are both PROMPT-trained and would be happy to discuss the use of PROMPT as a part of your treatment approach. 

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