A Different Approach to Improving Speech Production
PROMPT is an acronym that stands for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. This is a therapy technique that is primarily used to improve speech sound production in clients of all ages, ranging from toddler to young adult. These clients may range from having very mild speech sound errors to being extremely difficult to understand.
The PROMPT technique involves the use of touch cues to assist the child in production of individual sounds, syllables, words, or sentences. Each speech sound has touch cues to assist the child in moving their jaw, tongue and lips to accurately produce each sound. The touch cue allows the therapist to assist the child in finding accurate production by manually guiding their muscles through these movements.
In order to accurately produce speech sounds, the jaw, lips and tongue must all coordinate together in timing and sequence. Through the use of touch cues, the therapist is able to assist the child in not only placement of their jaw, lips and tongue for each sound, but also the timing of movements and the sequence of movements.
Producing speech that can be understood is very difficult for many children. Often times, when learning to produce speech sounds correctly, children struggle to follow complex directions for tongue, lip or jaw placement. They may also struggle to imitate models. The use of touch cues in the PROMPT technique removes the need to follow complex directions or imitate complex tongue, lip or jaw placement by allowing the therapist to move the child’s jaw, lips and tongue to guide them through accurate production of word. The child can then feel how their mouth is moving to accurately produce speech sounds, teaching muscle memory for independent accurate production.
Written by Amanda Smith, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
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