Rapid Prompting Method used in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Rapid prompting method is a method commonly used in occupational therapy with children who are on the autism spectrum. Rapid prompting method, or RPM, was created by Soma Mukhopadhyay of HALO (Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach), as a way to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) develop communication skills. This method may be used throughout the course of occupational therapy, which works to develop the skills needed to complete everyday tasks and work. For young children with autism, RPM will focus on the communication skills that they require to be successful in school, at home, and in social settings.

Why is RPM used for autism?
Many individuals with autism experience delays or disorders in communication. RPM focuses on how the brain functions during communication and learning.

One of the most important aspects of RPM is taking time to practice this method with your child. In order for the method to be successful, it is helpful to provide feedback in a consistent, but encouraging way. RPM can be used by parents at home or by the team of professionals in the clinical or school setting.

What does RPM involve?
The primary focus of RPM is developing the reasoning (or learning) skills of children with autism. The therapist and parent work to develop the ability of the child to learn and develop communication skills through different rapid prompts, as the name of the method suggests. One of the first stages of RPM is giving the child choices. As you might guess, the prompts become increasingly complex as the child begins to master skills.

How is RPM used in occupational therapy?
An occupational therapist might use RPM strategies to teach a child different life skills needed to complete academic and daily tasks, such as the motor skills required to write. The goal of RPM is to develop the way that children respond to the prompts provided by the occupational therapist (OT) or parent, so that they will eventually not require a prompt.

Does RPM work for everyone?
There are certainly case studies that support the success of RPM in children with autism, and this method can be highly effective in some children. However, every child is different, so a treatment that works well for one child may not be as effective for another child. If you are a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, it can be helpful to seek advice from an occupational therapist who is familiar with the method strategies.

Do you still have questions about the rapid prompting method or occupational therapy for your child?
Contact us or call (773) 980-0300 to learn more about the range of services we provide for children at Chicago Occupational Therapy, including applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.

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