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The PROMPT Approach to Language

by Laura Ironman, CCC-SLP


I had the opportunity to become trained in the PROMPT approach last month. While I thought I knew what PROMPT was, the training showed me a new way of looking at not only speech and articulation disorders, but language delays and disorders as well. I wanted to share my experience of looking at speech and language through this new lens!

A (Very) Brief Summary

PROMPT is an acronym that stands for “PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets.” PROMPT is an evidence-based treatment that focuses on the motor movement of each body part that connects to form sounds and words. This could be: working on breath support, turning your voice on to say “ah,” focusing on jaw movement to determine an appropriate range of motion, or the coordination of the tongue, lips and teeth to form various sounds. There are various levels of PROMPT that depend on how a child presents or how he produces sounds during speech.

The Motor Component and Dancing

At Skills on the Hill, some of our clients take part in more than one therapy discipline. This means that sometimes, they receive a combination of PT, OT and/or ST. If the motor component needs support in one area (i.e., fine or gross motor), it makes sense that oral motor movement may also need support! During my training in the PROMPT approach, I likened the idea or oral motor movement to learning a dance. Talking is when our mouth muscles move in a specific way at a specific time to form a word. If you get the moves right, you create that word; if you “step” the wrong way, or you make a mistake in one of the moves, then the “dance” doesn’t flow as well, and the word may come off jumbled. The more you practice a dance, the muscles start to memorize the way they are supposed to operate, and the less you have to think about what comes next. That’s how PROMPT works- it’s getting the child’s oral motor muscles to recall the appropriate movement, so that the child doesn’t even have to think about it; they simply produce the word.

Who is PROMPT for?

The PROMPT Institute is the foundation that has created, trained, and researched PROMPT methods. Their current research proves the efficacy of PROMPT methods for children who exhibit articulation errors, childhood apraxia of speech, autism, and cerebral palsy. Further, the institute continues to research the foundations of PROMPT as a treatment approach, and how the foundations can be utilized for a variety of speech and language disorders.


Watch a sample PROMPT session below!

Want to learn more? Email vanessa.poynter@skillsonthehill.comwith questions and learn if this approach could be right for your child. Your SOTH Speech Team is looking forward to serving you!

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