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What Is PROMPT Therapy?

PROMPT therapy has become extremely popular over recent years, especially for kids who have apraxia. PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets.

It is a tactile-kinesthetic technique. This means the therapist touches the patients face to elicit the tongue, jaw, lips, cheeks, and other articulations to produce sounds. The therapist will guide the child through words, phrases, and sentences by touching their face and giving them that tactile input they need.

It does not matter if your child has apraxia, dysarthria, articulation disorder or phonological disorder. If they are having trouble talking or are hard to understand, PROMPT is appropriate for them. During a PROMPT evaluation, we usually will videotape your child to analyze how their articulators are moving and how we can improve it. We are looking at the skeletal structure, phonation, jaw control, lips, and the tongue. We will assess if their jaw is moving without sliding and if they have enough range of motion. Many kids either keep their mouth too open or the opposite and almost clench their teeth. Then we look at lips and see if they can round their lips like in the sound “oh” and retract them like in the sound “ee.” Then their tongue to see if it’s going in the correct place for alveolar and velar sounds like t,d,g, and k. Then we evaluate how they say everything in longer phrases and sentences.

After analyzing all of this, the therapist will create a list of words and phrases that are motivating for your child and targets the correct movements your child needs to work on. For example, many kids need to work on taking turns so your therapist might target: my turn, I go, your turn, or me. Likewise, if your child loves balls, we would target the word ball. We choose “ball” because if your child can say this word clearly and concisely, it’s a lot less frustrating for everyone. When people understand your child requesting their favorite items, the child will realize their voice has power and are motivated to say more words clearer. Also, the PROMPTS for these important words will be used to work to eliminate jaw sliding, encouraging lip closure, and encourage lip retraction and protrusion.

With PROMPT we aren’t working on specific sounds like traditional speech therapy, we are correcting the way sounds are produced to fix the root of the problem.

Nicole Yates
About the author

I have been working in the speech-language field since 2007. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 2006, and my masters from University of South Florida in 2009. I have worked in the school system, hospital, independent clinic, and home health settings. I decided to leave the hospital to work for myself, because I was frustrated with the amount of children required for me to see daily. Starting my own company has allowed me time to adequately prepare for each of my patients so that I can serve them and their families in the best way possible. Every child is so different, and I can now give them the time they need. I myself was in speech therapy as a child and know what it feels like not to be understood. It is my passion to help every child reach their fullest potential in the area of communication. There is nothing more fulfilling than hearing a child tell their parents they love them for the first time! I would be grateful to be a part of your child’s journey.