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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 patient’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.
Therapists begin by helping patients produce certain phonemes. A phoneme is the smallest increment of sound in speech. For example, the “d” sound in the word dog is one phoneme, the “o” is another and the “g” is yet another. Each phoneme requires different muscle contractions/retractions and placement/movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, neck and chest to produce. All of these things have to happen with the proper timing and sequence to produce one phoneme correctly. The therapist attempts to “teach” the patient’s muscles to produce a phoneme correctly by stimulating all of these through touch. With the timing and movement of more than 100 muscles involved, you can see why the training is so intense.
PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of patients with communication disorders. The most common patients have motor speech disorders, articulation problems or are non-verbal children. Many patients with aphasia, apraxia/dyspraxia, dysarthria, pervasive development disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries and autism spectrum disorders have benefitted from PROMPT therapy. An evaluation by a PROMPT-trained speech therapist is the only way to find out if a patient is appropriate for the therapy.
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 our 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 patient’s produce a phoneme. They can also properly evaluate a patient (from a motor perspective) to identify if PROMPT therapy will be beneficial. Some clinicians at this stage are quite good at the technique and all will improve with practice.
Clinicians who have completed the PROMPT Bridging Workshop have had various levels of practice, but they have now 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 patient, that demonstrates their effective use of PROMPT.
PROMPT Instructors are the best-trained PROMPT therapists in the world. Instructors not only teach the PROMPT workshops, they often help certify therapists as well. Instructors receive frequent updates regarding the PROMPT technique and become even better therapists through their networking with other top-notch PROMPT therapists.