Prompting Accurate Responses
Prompting includes any attempts to increase your student’s success in completing different tasks. It includes several types. Think of it as a spectrum: from least restrictive to most restrictive. The word restrictive refers to the level you are limiting your student’s movements. Here’s the list of different prompts (from least to most)
– Vocal Prompting:
This includes vocal instructions to your student. It can include “keeping going” or “put the plate in the dishwasher”. It’s similar to walking your student through steps necessary to complete the steps.
– Gestural prompting:
This includes pointing at items or locations related to the task. For example, pointing at the washer’s lid to prompt the student to open it, pointing at the dish soap for the student to get it, and pointing at different parts of a table during a wiping task.
– Visual prompting:
This includes pictures or text representing the task. For example, writing “open washer” on a board, or showing the student a picture of a washer that is open. Some students need a picture or text that represents every step of the task, while others are successful with a picture or text representing the task.
This includes showing the student how to complete a task. It could be modeling the entire task or just a step of a task. For example, you could demonstrate spraying a table, and wiping it up and down, then allow your student complete the entire task. If that is too difficult for your student, model one step, then allow your student to imitate that step.
– Partial physical prompting:
This includes placing a hand on your student’s shoulder or elbow, and guiding the student’s movement to make the correct motion.
– Full physical prompting:
This is equivalent to hand over hand, and the level of guiding is higher when compared with partial physical prompting.
– Give your student time to complete the task. That will give you an idea of how much help he or she needs to complete the task.
– Try to only give enough prompting for the student to be successful. For example, if gestural prompting is enough, then there’s no need to use partial physical prompting.
– If the task is new, it will be likely that partial or full physical prompting is going to be needed.
– If the task is familiar, it is best to start with gestural prompting. Students tend to grow dependent on vocal prompting, and it’s very difficult to shift away from vocal prompting to independence.
– Visual/textual schedules: these can be very important to some of our students, since they tend to need reminders of what they should be doing next.