PROMPT: Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets: Guest blog post by Kendra Egan, author of the blog, “The Speech and Language Lady”

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I’m sure many of you SLPs have heard of PROMPT therapy.  You may be familiar with the acronym, but less familiar with what it is exactly.  I have wanted to explore PROMPT therapy more in depth recently and have considered doing the training.  I found a great blog post on the subject written by up-and-coming SLP, Kendra Egan, author of the speech therapy graduate student blog, The Speech and Language Lady.

Kendra is the sweetest girl you will ever meet and has already won over many hearts with her helpful and insightful student blog.  Kendra has agreed to let me use her PROMPT post as my February guest blog post! Thank you, Kendra! This post will give you some helpful information into what PROMPT therapy is and if it is an area in which you would want to pursue training.  I’m so happy to feature Kendra this month.  Check out her blog if you have time, you will enjoy her journey…go here to visit Kendra’s blog.

Background on PROMPT:  Who developed it?

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PROMPT: Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets

PROMPT: Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular PhoneticTargets was developed by Deborah Hayden. She began manipulating the oro-motor structures to help adults and children with varying speech disorders to produce sounds that could be shaped for verbal interaction with others. Hayden, along with multiple neuromotor theorists, was interested in how normal systems developed from birth. She explored how the dynamic interaction and equilibrium among all motor systems directly affected speech-motor systems. PROMPT was first published in 1984.

What is PROMPT therapy and can it be used with children and adults?

PROMPT therapy is a physical-sensory approach that integrates all domains and systems toward positive communication outcome. Children or adults with various disabilities such as: developmental delays, phonological impairments, dysarthria, apraxia of speech, speech disorders,Broca’s aphasia, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), hearing impairment, dysfluencies, and accent reduction can benefit from PROMPT therapy. PROMPT may be used on all speech production disorders from approximately 6 months of age and up.

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How long should PROMPT be used with a client and can I use it with other techniques?

Intensity and focus will vary depending on the client’s age and severity. It should not be used mainly to produce individual sounds/phonemes, to facilitate oral-motor skills, or as an articulation program, but instead as a program to develop motor skills in development of language for interaction. It has an emphasis on vowels, consonants and diphthongs through tactile cueing.

PROMPT may be used to assist the progress of production, revise or change the production, or to integrate motor production with cognitive-linguistic function. Clinicians will receive a more organized way to assess all domains for the most effective and functional treatment program.

Can any SLP use PROMPT?

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) need to be fully trained in order to provide PROMPT therapy. PROMPT training consists of four steps and the SLP must complete each step in order to fully comprehend the therapy and apply it appropriately to clients.

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What are the 4 PROMPT steps involved in the training process?

The four steps are as followed:

1.  Introduction to PROMPT: Technique

2.  Bridging PROMPT Technique to Intervention

3.  The PROMPT Technique Self Study Project

4.  PROMPT Certification: A Self Study Project. Training is primarily a “hands on”     approach.

Overview of the 4 Steps

 Step 1

This step consists of a 3-day workshop that concentrates on teaching the technique of PROMPT. It is a hands-on training workshop emphasizing the need to integrate into a holistic therapy approach. It should be noted the SLPs do not have long fingernails when training or applying therapy.

Step 2

This step focuses on setting goals and objectives that are appropriate for the client within the PROMPT framework. SLP’s are trained to enable therapy to be incorporated across a range of setting including the home, while maintaining a focus on the key needs.

Step 3

This step supports the SLP’s learning of PROMPT and provides direct suggestions about assessing; selecting targets and executing a PROMPT treatment plan with a particular client. This project can be completed any time up to certification.

Step 4

In step 4, the SLP is asked to provide a detailed assessment of the client’s abilities across all domains and develop a holistic therapy plan. It needs to include the selection of priorities on the Motor Speech Hierarchy to develop motor-phonemes and words for use within functional, interactive contexts. The SLP is also expected to create parent/caregiver goals and strategies.

The basic principles of PROMPT focus on head/hand positions, mandibular positions and finger placement positions. Prompts for finger placement positions will either be on the mylohyoid (all should be placed mid-line along the mylohyoid), or facial prompts which should be placed equal distance, and symmetrical from the midline. Only finger pads should be used with facial prompts. Pressure is always lighter on the face where skin connects directly to muscle, than on the mylohyoid where several layers of muscle lay between the skin and tongue.

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Why should I learn PROMPT? What are the pros and cons?

 The Pros

There are many advantages to using PROMPT therapy. PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide variety of individuals with speech disorders such as autism, apraxia, aphasia, phonological disorders, childhood motor speech disorders, childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), and so forth. PROMPT therapy isindividualized and considerate for each client. The clinician does not need additional materials for the PROMPT, just herself and adequate training. PROMPT is different from traditional treatment approaches in that it does not rely predominantly on auditory and visual input. It is a multidimensional approach and relies on the motor performance. PROMPT also contains a System Analysis Observation checklist which is used as an assessment tool for the neuromotor speech system and turned into a hierarchy for therapy. The checklist helps the SLP to systematically evaluate a child’s motor speech system as well as helps the SLP identify the level or stage where problems occur.There are numerous ongoing efficacy studies in terms of research for PROMPT therapy. There is a high degree of satisfaction from the clients who have used PROMPT. Clients learn to self-monitor and self-correct for generalization. Co-articulation is always considered, and PROMPT can be used with clients with cognitive impairments.

The Cons 

A disadvantage for PROMPT is that it requires trained professionals to implement the interventions in order for them to be effective. PROMPT requires the SLP to touch the client’s face, neck, lips, head and sometimes shoulders. If the SLP is not comfortable, the client will not be comfortable and there will be no trust. PROMPT is a motor skill, and the clinician requires extensive practice and training.

Where can I find more information on PROMPT trainings?

To become certified, workshops for PROMPT therapy can be purchased and scheduled online at,and varies in price from $650 to $700 depending on your location.


Hayden, D.A. (1994).Differential diagnosis of motor speech dysfunction in children.  Developmental apraxia of speech: Assessment. Clinics in Communication Disorders, 4(2), 118–147, 162–174.

Hayden, D.A. (2004).PROMPT: A tactually grounded treatment approach to speech production disorders. In I.  Stockman (Ed.), Movement and action in learning and development: Clinical implications for pervasive developmental disorders (pp. 255–297). San Diego, CA: Elsevier–Academic Press.

Hayden, D. A. (2006).The PROMPT model: Use and application for children with mixed phonological-motor impairment. Advances in Speech-Language Pathology, 8(3), 265–281.

Hayden, D., Eigen, J., Walker, A., Olsen, L. (2010).PROMPT:A tactually grounded model. In Williams, L, McLeod, S. & McCauley, R.(Eds.)Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children. Baltimore, Maryland; Brookes Publishing. Square-Storer, P., & Hayden, D. A. (1989). PROMPT treatment. In P.



About Kendra, The Speech and Language Lady

Kendra Egan is currently in her last semester of her Masters Program at California State University, Chico. She was born and raised in Chico, California.  Kendra loves the Communication Disorders and Sciences major and is looking forward to getting out into the working field. She is not positive about what area or population that she wants to work with, as she has enjoyed all of her internship placements. Kendra decided to start the blog, The Speech and Language Lady when she found herself researching and having questions throughout graduate school.  She thought it would be helpful to post her findings for other speechies!




  1. my son has an rsa and we are in need of a prompt therapist in the brooklyn ny area if you know of someone plz email me

  2. Mary Jewell says:

    After years of frustration using traditional methods to address Apraxia-related motor speech disorders, I invested in the fees and time required to complete the first level of PROMPT training. The money and time required to complete the first of four courses was well invested. The techniques learned in PROMPT have allowed me to rethink how I assess motor speech disorders, plan intervention, and empower my clients. I look forward to completing future PROMPT levels.
    Mary Jewell, M.S., CCC-SLP

  3. Kendra did a really good job on this – thanks for re-posting Heather! As Michele says above, there have been many research studies completed and we currently have a couple taking subjects, including a random controls trial efficacy study that we hope will be published in 2015. Check out our website for the latest research and our current workshop schedule (we conduct workshops all over the world).

  4. Thanks for all the information regarding PROMT. This technique would really depend on the client you have as some children do not like to be touched. I can imagine it being quite a rewarding way to see improvement in patients. Thanks for the article.

  5. LOVE PROMPT. Check their website for great information: @promptinstitute.

  6. dwi yanti says:

    nice blog !

    can you give information about PROMPT training/workshop in singapore or
    KL area ? Thanks

  7. Thanks for the post. Do you know if there is any independent research/references on the technique? I just noted the studies listed were done by the intervention developer.

    • Hi Kate,
      If you are really considering becoming certified in PROMT therapy, I would do some research to see if any other studies have been done on it. I am not familiar with any off the top of my head. Try the ASHA website to search the Journals or Google Scholar.

    • Michele Weerts, SLP Instructor PROMPT Institute says:

      Heather has described PROMPT and it’s stages very well. The main focus of the PROMPT Institute at the moment is research and there are studies under way as well as many that have been published. This information is available on the website . All studies have been posted.
      There is also a video (18 minutes) explaining what exactly PROMPT is, how it is used and exactly what it looks like.
      Thank you for posting this information Heather. Your website is awesome!
      Michele Weerts SLP, PROMPT Instructor


  1. […] Recently Aden started receiving private speech on Saturdays. His SLP, Karen is working on a new method of speech therapy with him called PROMPT. PROPMT is a tactile approach to speech therapy and since Aden doesn’t have any aversions to touch, he is responding well to it. I searched “What is PROMPT?” and found this great guest blog:… […]

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