Prompting

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What is Prompting?

Prompting is a big part of teaching your child new skills. Through prompting you can help your child to accomplish a given task and or an instruction. It helps your child to learn how to follow instructions and it also helps your child to be able to successfully complete a task.
Prompting is the act of helping your child to accomplish a given instruction. Prompting comes in different levels.

Full Physical Prompt (FP):

This is when you physically help your child to accomplish the task at hand

How to do a Full Physical Prompt:

  1. You sit on the floor with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying your child’s name and or touching your child’s arm.
  3. Once you have your child’s attention you say“(Child’s name) clap”. Your child just sits there and looks at you.
  4. You take your child’s hands and clap them for him.

Partial Physical Prompt (PP):

This is when your child is able to do part of the skill but you need to assist to fully complete the task at hand.

How to do a Partial Physical Prompt:

  1. You sit on the floor with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying your child’s name and or touching your child’s arm
  3. Once you have your child’s attention you say “(Child’s name) clap”. Your child lifts his hands up but stops.
  4. You then take your child’s hands and put them together to clap.

Gesture (G):

This is when you use a gesture to help your child to complete a given task.

How to do a Gesture

  1. You sit on the floor with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying your child’s name and or touching your child’s arm.
  3. Once you have your child’s attention you say “(Child’s name) clap”. Your child just sits there.
  4. You show your child with a gesture to put his/her hands together.

Verbal Prompt (V):

This is when you remind your child verbally what to do after you have already given the instruction.

How to complete a Verbal Prompt

  1. You sit on the floor with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying your child’s name and or touching your child’s arm.
  3. Once you have your child’s attention you say “(Child’s name) clap”, Your child just sits there.
  4. You tell him: “Joe clapping is putting your hands together”.

Combination Gesture/Verbal Prompt (GV):

This is a combination of a verbal and gesture prompt. You verbally instruct your child what to do while you also make gesture.

How to combine prompts

  1. You sit on the floor with your child.
  2. Engage your child by saying your child’s name and or touching your child’s arm.
  3. Once you have your child’s attention you say “(Child’s name) clap”. Your child just sits there.
  4. Tell your child :”( Child’s name) clapping is putting your hands together, while you gesture putting your hands together.

Additional Notes . . .

Prompting is a great way to make sure your child will be able to complete a task and or instruction. Prompts usually fade from one level to another while your child is learning a new skill. You will most often start with a Full Physical prompt. Over time your child will learn what to do and you can go from a Full Physical prompt to a Partial Physical prompt, to a Verbal Prompt, to a gesture and eventually your child will be able to do the task by him/herself. It might take a week, or two, a month or two or even longer but over time your child will learn a new task with the help of prompting. In the video you will see a demonstration of each prompt level.

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Autism Support Now is a Parent advisory blog and media site presented by "Ella's Hope for Autism" a 501c3 public charity in Missouri. This site is built for parents dealing with Autism . . . by parents dealing with Autism. Hope and Sam McPheeters (founders of Ella's Hope) have two children on the spectrum, and strive to provide continued advice for other parents, who are dealing with the same issues..