When it is determined that a child has a speech delay, speech impairment, developmental delay, or other disorder, it is highly recommended to have them begin receiving therapy as soon as possible. However, there are so many considerations and options for therapy, it may seem overwhelming to decide what is best for your child. With that being said, I am a firm believer that PROMPT can benefit almost anyone with varying disorders or delays that require speech-language treatment.
Why is Bridging Important to the PROMPT Process?
Having the initial PROMPT training was empowering. Through the course, I gained specific skills to treat almost anything that could possibly occur as a disorder of motor speech. In order to use the tactile, hands on, skills the most effectively – especially with clients that are not simply “articulation” clients – I attended the second part of the PROMPT coursework, titled Bridging. This course provides training and education on how to evaluate an individual based on all of their systems (cognitive-linguistic, social-emotional, and sensory-motor) and how they work together and impact the child’s overall communication. It also provides strategies to most effectively use PROMPT for varying cases while using the tactile-motor input (learned in the first training) to improve a client’s motor speech.
From the milder cases of speech sound disorders, to the more severe and involved speech sound disorders, PROMPT has proven to make a positive impact in the short time that I have been using this method of therapy. As a speech therapist, I have experienced many cases of children who “have some trouble with their ‘s’ sounds and/or their ‘r’ sounds” after being in therapy for years, but have everything else resolved. I have also experienced clients who “seem to jumble their words together when they talk in longer sentences.” Motor input provided through PROMPT will not only help these children, but help quickly. Some children I have used PROMPT with are almost finished with therapy in a matter of months (between four and five months).
So what happens when there is “more” going on?
What if there has been limited signs of speech at all around age one, two, or later?
With more involved cases that have difficulty with motor-speech, it can be tough to determine the most effective route for treatment. How do we positively affect the speech sound productions of clients when it may not simply be “articulation” issues?
The Bridging course of PROMPT gives direction and answers to this question. This course teaches trained clinicians to focus on the child as a whole and approach therapy in a way that targets all of the child’s needs (social-emotional, cognitive-linguistic, and physical-sensory) – not just their speech sound production. This ensures that they are prepared to receive and will be positively impacted by motor speech input.
From a PROMPT perspective, therapy is a fluid and ever-adjusting method that allows constant change within the therapy focus (where does the child need the most help at that particular time within therapy?) and encourages demands for the child to be changed based on what his or her whole set of systems is capable of handling at any given time within therapy (e.g., maybe the child has a really hard time with turn taking one day – the session will spotlight that area of a challenge rather than the motor speech sounds).
How Bridging Improved the Use of Motor Input:
With PROMPT, I have seen drastic changes, very quickly, in some of my clients. In other clients, that I may have once thought would make minimal or no changes at all with oral speech, I see progression at varying rates and skills being generalized for functional verbalization. Bridging was the next step to learn the most effective ways to use the PROMPT method and the motor speech input I had learned in the initial training. Especially when considering more severe and involved cases that are less clear cut than simply “articulation” issues.
PROMPT uses a tactile method where the speech therapist physically manipulates and places the client’s articulators exactly where they need to be to make a speech sound, or group of speech sounds. Along with this method of motor input, PROMPT utilizes a systematic and methodological strategy to determine what specific areas of a person’s motor system should be targeted or addressed. It also allows a therapist to effectively move through targets at various levels of the motor system to address the client’s specific needs as they fluctuate. The Bridging course teaches PROMPT trained clinicians to become efficient and effective evaluators of a client’s systems and to quickly determine which prompts would best support their motor speech at any given time within therapy.
Many therapy strategies begin speech treatment by targeting specific sounds in different positions in words based on the order of development for a child with typical speech development. PROMPT approaches therapy to support the undeveloped or slowly developing motor system for speech. PROMPT helps a clinician decide where, within a child’s motor system (e.g., voice, jaw, lips, cheeks, tongue, etc.), they would benefit from tactile motor input at any given time to be the most effective to improve speech sounds for functional communication. It has been an amazing experience to watch my clients change and grow through the use of PROMPT. I look forward to continuing the many journeys to better communication with all of my clients!
|Teal Simmons M.A., CCC-SLP
LLA Therapy’s resident PROMPT expert
Teal has found wonderful success utilizing the PROMPT program with her clients. We have received amazing feedback on behalf of her families:
“It’s cool to watch therapy and have the SLP explain everything that is done and why she is doing it. And it makes sense, especially for carryover at home. One of the biggest things, to me, is that his confidence continues to grow every week as he continues to make progress with his talking.”
– Mother of a 2.5 year old with motor speech disorder sounding like “jibberish” when he talked upon entering therapy.
“For my son with severe autism, PROMPT has been the only thing that has truly been able to address his motor speech issues stemming from severe apraxia. He figured out that PROMPT is helping him talk and he actually likes being prompted. He will often request to be prompted if there is something he wants to say.”
– Mother of a 10-year-old child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe apraxia of speech
“In just five months of using prompt therapy, my daughter has gone from grunting and pointing to being able to say most, if not all, consonants. And she is now attempting multi-syllable words and sentences.”
– Mother of a 2-year-old child with moderate apraxia of speech