Treating Speech and Language Difficulties With PROMPT Therapy

What is PROMPT Therapy?

  • Does your child need to use repetition to make needs known?
  • Do others have trouble understanding your child’s speech?
  • Does your child have difficulty with articulation and making speech sounds?

PROMPT is a specialized technique, utilized by expertly trained speech and language pathologists to enhance speech production.

What is PROMPT therapy?
PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a program designed to help individuals with varying speech difficulties produce sounds so they can articulate properly and interact verbally with others.

What makes PROMPT special?

PROMPT uses physical cues to a child’s jaw, tongue, and lips (articulators) to manually guide them through a specific sound, word, phrase or sentence.  A speech and language pathologist may say to a child, “Let me show you how it feels,” so a child actually feels how his muscles should move.

Who can benefit from PROMPT?
PROMPT therapy is the treatment of choice for a wide range of individuals, including toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children with communication/speech production disorders.  Some of the most common issues include:

  • Apraxia/dyspraxia – Inability to execute the motor movements needed to create specific sounds.  Understanding language exceeds the ability to communicate.
  • Articulation problems – Problems making sounds resulting in speech errors that make it difficult for others to understand.
  • Dysarthia – Reduced motor planning needed for speech production resulting from problems with respiration (breath support), phonation (expelling air through the vocal folds), articulation (creating speech sounds), and/or prosody (rhythm, stress, and speech intonation).

Beginning PROMPT intervention. What should I expect in my child’s treatment plan?
PROMPT begins with an assessment that considers all sensory modalities (auditory, visual and tactile-kinesthetic) as well as speech sub-systems such as breath support (phonation), jaw control, lip mobility, tongue control, and prosody.  PROMPT addresses all areas of a child’s development (physical, cognitive and social) and how your child uses these domains to communicate with others.  Evaluations involve video taping a child, follow up discussion with the family about the child’s abilities and needs, and treatment planning.

What happens in the treatment sessions?

  • Greeting and Set Up
  • Motor-Phoneme Warm Up
    The warm-up involves repeated practice of sounds, syllables, words and phrases that the child is asked to produce repeatedly in the therapy activities.  The therapist uses various levels of PROMPTs to improve the child’s motor recall and the accuracy of their speech productions.  PROMPTs are provided externally and facilitate jaw/facial control and the amount of movement required.  This helps to develop muscle memory for specific sounds.
  • Activity #1, 2, and 3:
    These are constructive play, symbolic play, or social routine activities that facilitate the Communication Focus.  The activities teach vocabulary and phrases through functional, interactive games.  The therapist integrates specific targeted speech sounds that the child is working to acquire, using connected speech as it occurs in everyday conversation.  The goal is for the child to produce accurate speech in as lengthy a communication as possible.
  • Review Home Program for carry over and support

Can any Speech-Language Therapist use PROMPT?
PROMPT is a specialized program that is not part of typical speech and language therapy. Speech-language pathologists must be fully trained to provide PROMPT therapy.

For more information about PROMPT, contact: