What is PROMPT?

PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. The technique is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a client’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique develops motor control and the development of proper oral muscular movements, while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding. PROMPT's multidimensional approach to speech production disorders has come to embrace not only the well-known physical-sensory aspects of motor performance, but also its cognitive-linguistic and social-emotional aspects. PROMPT is about integrating all domains and systems towards positive communication outcome. It may be used (with varying intensity and focus) with all speech production disorders from approximately 6 months of age onward. To achieve the best outcome with PROMPT it should not be thought of or used mainly to facilitate speech-motor skills, produce individual sounds/phonemes or as an articulation program but rather as a program to develop motor skill in the development of language for interaction. PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of clients with communication disorders. The most common clients have motor speech disorders, articulation problems or are non-verbal children. Many clients with aphasia, apraxia/dyspraxia, dysarthria, pervasive development disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries and autism spectrum disorders have benefitted from PROMPT therapy.

What do the different levels of training mean?

The PROMPT Institute is the only organization that trains therapists in the PROMPT technique. The training is very intense and requires a series of workshops, plus a lengthy certification process for a therapist to be a Certified PROMPT therapist. The following provides a description of what you can expect from a therapist that has completed the different stages of training. A therapist that has completed the Introduction to PROMPT Technique Workshop has learned the basics of the PROMPT technique. These clinicians have been trained how to make the “touch cues” to the articulators to help client’s produce certain sounds. They can also properly evaluate a client (from a motor perspective) to identify if PROMPT therapy will be beneficial. Clinicians who have completed the PROMPT Bridging Workshop have had various levels of practice, and have gained a much-greater understanding of how and when to use the technique. These clinicians can develop much greater holistic intervention plans that address not only speech-motor problems, but also cognitive-linguistic and social-emotional disorders that may affect speech. PROMPT Certified clinicians have completed all of the PROMPT training and have demonstrated their effectiveness in using all of the different facets of the PROMPT technique in practice. Clinicians seeking certification must complete several written examinations that demonstrate they have mastered the theory and knowledge behind the PROMPT technique, plus they must submit video demonstrations of actual technique, on a client over time, that demonstrates their effective use of PROMPT.

How is PROMPT Certified therapy different than traditional articulation and oral motor therapy?

PROMPT is a process that involves fully evaluating a child’s strengths and areas of need including receptive/expressive language and social language skills. Therapy then is directly focused on all areas of communication. Therapy is socially driven and the vocabulary targets are functional and focus on language development. All speech targets are evaluated based on the Motor Speech Hierarchy (Hayden, 1986, 2013) which is a dynamic schema of how speech develops from a motor perspective. Therapy involves tactile-kinesthetic hands- on support to the muscles of the face, jaw and structures associated with vocalizing. This helps clients to “feel” the correct way to produce words in fun, functional interactive routines. It does not involve working on individual sounds or using horns or whistles. It has been illuminated through current research that oral motor skills (blowing, chewing, sucking etc) use the speech musculature in a very different way than they are used when speaking. Overtime, PROMPT therapy will build in complexity in terms of the motor load of speaking and the linguistic complexity.