PROMPT speech therapy tips

PROMPT speech therapy tips

What is PROMPT Therapy?

This article discusses the “PROMPT” therapy method, which is utilised in speech therapy for both children and adults, regardless of whether they have speech issues.

So, let’s start our learning on PROMPT speech therapy tips!

  • PROMPT stands for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets.
  • PROMPT Therapy is a technique which uses a tactile-kinesthetic approach which uses touch cues to the patient’s jaw, tongue, and lips(also called the articulators).
  • It manually guides the patient through a targeted sound, word, phrase or sentence.
  • The technique focuses on eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding by the development of proper motor control and oral muscular movements.

NOTE: It is very important to know that a detailed assessment focussing on different domains (Physical, Cognitive & Socio-emotional) will be conducted by the PROMPT-trained therapist before starting PROMPT therapy.

How did PROMPT develop?

PROMPT was developed in the 1970s by speech therapist Deborah Hayden. The children with severe motor impairments who did not respond to traditional speech therapy methods were given PROMPT therapy.

PROMPT therapy

What happens in PROMPT therapy?

  • The therapist helps the patient to produce targeted phoneme/s ( A phoneme is the smallest increment of sound in speech).
  • For example, the “c” sound in the word cat is one phoneme, the “a” is another and the “t” is yet another.
  • The muscle contractions/retractions and placement/movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, neck and chest to produce are all different for each of these phonemes.
  • Hence, to produce one phoneme correctly, everything has to happen with the proper timing and sequence.
  • To correctly say the phoneme, the PROMPT therapist tries to “teach” the patient’s muscles by stimulating all of these through touch.
  • The training is very intense because, there are about 100 muscles involved, and the therapist will concentrate on the movement and timing of these muscles.

What are the different levels?

There are 4 levels in PROMPTing used by the therapist. They are,

  1. Parameter
  2. Syllable
  3. Complex
  4. Surface

How is it different from other therapy approaches?

·    In traditional speech therapy, the therapist uses mostly visual and auditory cues/prompts to help the client.

Articulation therapy teaching s-blends

Whereas, in PROMPT therapy, the therapist follows hands-on techniques to manipulate the client’s oral muscles.

  • PROMPT requires a special certification and training from the PROMPT institute, to be called a “PROMPT-trained therapist”.

A therapist needs no such training apart from their professional qualification in taking traditional speech therapy.

  • Unlike the traditional treatment approach, PROMPT is a multidimensional approach that relies on motor performance along with auditory and visual input.
  • A PROMPT therapist uses a System Analysis Observation (SAO) checklist to assess each motor stage of the client and form therapy systematically.
  • Conventional articulation therapy might not always be best for clients with motor-speech difficulties. The PROMPT method gives repeated trials of auditory, visual and tactile cues to the client.

Who can benefit from PROMPT Therapy

  • Clients with a wide range of communication disorders can benefit from PROMPT therapy
  • For clients who are non-verbal, or have a motor speech problem, articulation problems are most common.
  • Clients with aphasia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), apraxia, dysarthria, pervasive developmental disorder, cerebral palsy, and acquired brain injuries have highly benefitted from PROMPT.
  • The intensity and focus of therapy change based on the severity and the client’s age.

Advantages of PROMPT therapy

  1. It improves functional daily communication in children
  2. It follows a holistic treatment approach
  3.  Highly structured and individualistic
  4. Anybody of any age, with or without speech disorders can make use of PROMPT
  5. Could always be used along with other traditional techniques
  6. PROMPT therapy is effective for a variety of population
  7. It is an evidence-based treatment approach as there are numerous of research work going on PROMPT.
  8. The PROMPT institute has developed PROMPT for all alphabets in English and many other languages (Including Indian languages). we can make it language-specific.
  9. Through PROMPT institute research, PROMPT therapy for 2 sessions for 45mins per week is enough to promote speech along with other traditional therapy approaches.

Tips for parents on PROMPT therapy

  • Parents get to observe and learn from the PROMPT therapist and help the children practise the sound. It is important that the parents follow what their therapist guides them to do.
  • It is always best for the parents to follow and learn what the therapist uses in the PROMPT technique on the targeted sound/word/sentence, as PROMPT is a motor skill that needs extensive practice and training.
  • The clients also learn to self-monitor and self-correct for generalisation.
  • Along with clients, parents get to understand how each sound is produced, how its heard, and feel how its produced with their own articulators.
  • Parents are taught the main basic fundamentals of PROMPT treatment.
  • Rather than focusing on only the production of single sounds, the PROMPT program advocates language development for social interaction through motor skills.
  • Make sure the environment and seating are comfortable. Give head support when required.


Extra notes:

You can read more on PROMPT through these links

what is the prompt method

Bindu Sangeeth
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  • Neha

    May I know if the PROMPT method will help my 13 yr daughter with CP to read and/ or improve speech. She is already on OPT.

    • Bindu Sangeeth

      Hello Ms Neha, It definitely will help improve the speech ability of your child. As you are also doing OPT, using PROMPT will be a holistic approach. Thank you for your question.

  • Sarah

    Thanks for sharing this, I think PROMPT is so well known just by it’s name, but it’s helpful for there to be more information about the methodology and best practices.

  • Srii

    I am looking for a prompt specialized SLP for my son. Asd and aparaxia are the diagnosis.

    • Pratiksha Gupta

      Sure Srii we can help you. We have PROMPT certified SLPs in our team and have been dealing with autistic children with Apraxia.
      Please feel free to call us at 9760226001 or chat with us on whatsapp on this same number.

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