What does PROMPT mean?
PROMPT stands for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets and is a therapy technique that targets a patient’s communication difficulties from a physical sensory perspective. It combines not only the physical sensory domains (i.e., muscle motor planning) but also the social emotional (i.e., attention and listening, reciprocal turn taking) as well as the cognitive domain (i.e., language development) and approaches speech development from a holistic understanding of the three domains.
How does PROMPT work?
PROMPT therapy uses facial touch cues to teach the muscles in the articulators (jaw, tongue and lips) how and when to move. By stimulating and guiding the muscles to move in the correct sequence, the client improves their motor control and oral muscular movements resulting in clearer speech. PROMPT therapy targets speech synchronisation at different levels including: adequate breath support and phonation, broader jaw movements ‘a’ vs ‘ee’ vs ‘oo’ and precise tongue movements.
How Is This Related to Speech?
When we produce any form of speech; whether it is a single sound, word or sentence, the muscles in our articulators must synchronise with each other in a precise timed sequence. As well as synchronising our articulators, we must also co-ordinate our neck and chest muscles to provide adequate resonance and breath support. When we consider that each sound in the English language has a unique sequence of muscular movements, it is understandable that a difficulty with muscle motor planning can impact significantly on an individual’s communication ability. Patients with communication disorders often have inefficient motor control of their oral-facial muscles, resulting in jaw sliding, inadequate lip synergy (e.g., difficulty rounding and retracting lips) or imprecise tongue movements.
Who can benefit from PROMPT therapy?
PROMPT is appropriate for a wide range of clients with communication disorders including those who are non-verbal. The most common clients who are referred for PROMPT therapy have motor speech disorders (such as aphasia, dyspraxia and dysarthria), articulation difficulties, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, acquired brain injuries and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
What can you expect from a PROMPT assessment and therapy session?
At the first PROMPT appointment, the therapist will complete an assessment of the client’s motor movements. They will identify what the motor inefficiencies are (i.e., jaw sliding, difficulties when moving lips). As some inefficiencies can be very quick and minute, it is favourable that these sessions are filmed to allow the therapist to complete an in-depth assessment.
PROMPT therapy is an adult-led, play based approach that uses games and vocabulary to target a range of sounds, words and phrases. PROMPT therapy sessions are typically provided weekly and are between 30-45 minutes depending on the client’s attention and concentration levels.
FYI Did you know that both Katie Hughes and Emily Smith are PROMPT trained clinicians?