Is Prompt Speech Therapy an Answer for Your Children?

As a parent, you always want what is best for your child and their development. If you’ve noticed that your child is struggling with speech delays or disorders, you may be wondering what kind of Therapy can help them improve. One method that has gained popularity is PROMPT speech therapy.

But is PROMPT Therapy the right choice for your child? In this discussion, we’ll explore PROMPT therapy and help you decide whether it’s the right fit for your child’s speech therapy needs.

What is PROMPT?

PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a therapeutic technique that utilizes a tactile-kinesthetic approach to improve patient speech production. This approach involves using touch cues to guide the patient’s articulators, including the jaw, tongue, and lips, through a targeted word, phrase, or sentence.

The primary goal of PROMPT is to help patients develop better motor control over their oral muscular movements while simultaneously reducing or eliminating unnecessary muscle movements that can hinder speech production. 

For example, some patients may have difficulty properly rounding their lips or keeping their jaw steady while speaking, resulting in unclear or distorted speech. By providing tactile-kinesthetic cues and guidance, the PROMPT technique can help patients learn to make the necessary adjustments and movements to produce more precise and accurate speech sounds.

PROMPT therapy can be used to treat a wide range of speech disorders, including articulation disorders, apraxia of speech, and dysarthria. It can be particularly effective for children with developmental speech delays or disorders and adults with acquired speech impairments due to stroke, traumatic brain injury, or degenerative diseases. (1)

How does PROMPT Work?

PROMPT Therapy is a specialized approach to speech therapy that works within three domains: Social-Emotional, Cognitive-Linguistic, and Physical-Sensory. The Therapy aims to improve the client’s ability to communicate effectively and accurately by refining their motor control and eliminating unnecessary muscle movements while using touch cues to guide their articulators.

The Social-Emotional domain focuses on building the client’s ability to interact with and learn from others in their environment. This includes addressing interpersonal interaction, trust, and communicative functions, such as protesting, affirmation, continuation, cessation, requesting, and questioning.

The Cognitive-Linguistic domain aims to strengthen the client’s knowledge and accurate use of language. This includes concept formation, perception, sensation, discrimination, and recognition of important information in their environment.

The Physical-Sensory domain focuses on improving the client’s ability to be understood by others by refining their skeletal structure, neuromuscular integrity, and sensory abilities.

PROMPT Therapy integrates all three domains to improve the client’s ability to communicate as a whole. By using the PROMPT Conceptual Framework, the therapist can tailor the Therapy to the client’s specific needs and goals, allowing for a more effective and personalized treatment. Overall, PROMPT Therapy works by guiding the client through touch cues, refining their motor control, and integrating all three domains to improve their communication abilities. (2)

PROMPT Assessment

PROMPT assessment is a crucial step in the therapy process that evaluates the client’s functioning across the three domains (Social-Emotional, Cognitive-Linguistic, and Physical-Sensory) to determine the most effective treatment plan. As a caregiver, your concerns and input are valuable and will be considered during the assessment process.

The assessment typically takes 1-2 hours and is followed by a discussion and explanation of the results and recommendations for treatment. The PROMPT assessment begins with the System Analysis Observation (SAO) tool, which helps the therapist understand where motor breakdowns occur. Motor breakdowns are difficulties in moving the jaw, lips, and tongue that result in challenges being understood. These motor breakdowns can arise from any of the three domains.

The PROMPT trained Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) will observe the client and transfer the SAO results to a unique tool called the Motor Speech Hierarchy (MSH). The MSH helps the SLP determine which stages of motor control to prioritize in treatment. This assessment process allows the therapist to tailor the Therapy to the client’s specific needs and goals, leading to more effective and personalized treatment.


Studies have demonstrated that PROMPT therapy is a valuable approach to addressing a wide range of speech and language disorders. Specifically, PROMPT has proven particularly effective for treating conditions that affect speech-sound production, including but not limited to motor speech difficulties, articulation delays, autism spectrum disorder, and apraxia of speech.  (3)

Apraxia of speech is a neurogenic condition that causes challenges in producing speech sounds, maintaining the proper rate or speed of speech, and using appropriate prosody. PROMPT has also shown promise in helping adults who are experiencing difficulties with aphasia or apraxia due to a stroke or traumatic brain injury.



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