When Traditional Speech Therapy Might Not Be Enough: Could PROMPT Therapy help?

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Traditional speech evaluations include the identification of sound errors through standardized assessments and conversational speech samples. Therapy is then targeted for the individual, based on those assessments.  Typically, children and adults are instructed how to modify their speech errors using visual support, models and tactile clues.

For parents of children whose speech is very unclear and have motor-speech and motor-planning difficulties or various disabilities such as phonological impairments, dysarthria, apraxia of speech, Autistic Spectrum Disorders or hearing impairment, straight-forward speech articulation therapy might not be enough.

In fact, many studies indicate that speech is a motor skill, just like other motor skills that we develop such as jumping, climbing, drawing and cutting.  Those children might find better results with a PROMPT-based approach to therapy.

PROMPT therapy is a physical-sensory approach that stands for “Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Target.” It was developed by Deborah Hayden in 1984 who manipulated the oro-motor structures to help adults and children with varying speech disorders to produce sounds. PROMPT may be used on all speech production disorders from approximately 6 months of age and up but must be completed by a certified therapist since it follows a very specific process.   The evaluation and therapy associated with PROMPT addresses expressive and receptive language, social-emotional skills and/or motor speech production; the intensity and focus of the sessions will depend on the patient’s age and severity.

PROMPT is a tactile-kinesthetic approach to speech therapy; this means that the  speech-language pathologist uses touch cues on the client’s face—like their jaws, lips and tongue—to help correct the movement of these articulators.   These touch cues allow the SLP to guide the patient through syllables, words and phrases.  It’s a different approach to therapy that has been proven to work well with certain patients.  For more information on PROMPT, visit the PROMPT Institute website at http://www.promptinstitute.com

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