PROMPT Therapy

Speech is movement made audible   — Raymond H. Stetson, PhD

PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets.  A basic premise for understanding why PROMPT is so powerful lies in the idea of Freedom of Movement, meaning how freely the muscles used for speech can move to the desired target. A client with a motor speech disorder will exhibit either too few degrees of freedom or too many degrees of freedom, and some clients my exhibit both. An example of too little freedom is when clients are unable round their lips for “o” or “u.”  An example of too much freedom is when clients slide their jaw sideways or forward.

 A PROMPT trained therapist touches the client’s face, giving input to the jaw, lips and tongue and the underlying muscles—retraining the muscles to move correctly.

Why is PROMPT so effective?

PROMPT addresses the reason a sound is said incorrectly. For example, if you can’t do sit-ups, the reason may be that you need to increase your body’s core strength. In the same way, if a child can’t say a sound, he or she may need to refine muscle movements. The beauty of PROMPT is that refining muscle movements has a positive effect on many sounds. I think of a motor speech disorder as hollow pyramid that needs to be filled and PROMPT therapy as the filling. Filling the bottom of the pyramid takes the longest, but the more the muscles achieve the right degree of freedom the easier and faster the process becomes.

A PROMPT therapist is trained to evaluate and prioritize which areas of motor control need to be addressed. It requires many hours of intensive training to become trained in the PROMPT technique.

Who will benefit from PROMPT?

Anyone with a motor speech disorder.

The vast majority of clients who have a speech disorder have a motor speech disorder, because Speech is movement made audible (Raymond H. Stetson PhD).

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