PROMPT technique, which stands for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, is a type of therapy used by speech-language pathologists.

It employs a systematic, neuromotor approach to assess speech characteristics and provide auditory, visual and tactile feedback to the speech system. The clinician gives input on all of these areas with the ultimate goal being functional verbal communication.


PROMPT technique helps reshape the way the brain and motor systems interact for speech and language. There are four different types of PROMPTS: parameter, surface, syllable and complex.


Parameter PROMPTs are used to stabilize postures and provide broad organizing base support in patients with jaw instability.  Surface PROMPTs are used to provide information about place, timing and transitions.  Syllable PROMPTs are used for simple syllable production, and complex PROMPTs construct holistic single sounds in isolation.


“To determine if they would benefit from PROMPT therapy, patients are first evaluated by being filmed while talking,” said Caitlin Salerno, M.A., CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist at Bacharach (pictured).  “A speech-language therapist then reviews the tape to evaluate the client’s structure, function and integration of motor speech systems, including movement of the jaw, face and tongue. From there, the therapist picks out the areas of greatest impairment and sets goals for each patient.”


At Bacharach, a majority of the patients who need PROMPT therapy have language and cognitive impairments, including autism, phonology disorders, strokes, apraxia and traumatic brain injuries.


“Each sound uses different touch cues to elicit specific placement of the oral musculature,” said Salerno. “For example, if I’m trying to teach someone how to produce the “p” sound, I place the back of my slightly bent first and second fingers just above and below the lips, briefly closing and pulling away from lips with quick timing.”


As oral communication improves, the PROMPTs are phased out – leaving the patient able to properly pronounce the specific sounds and syllables that he or she initially struggled with.


To learn more about the speech and language services that Bacharach has to offer, visit


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