Accessibility Tools

Rapid Prompting Method (RPM)

The Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) is an educational technique used to help individuals with communication and learning challenges, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities. RPM was developed by Soma Mukhopadhyay, a mother of a child with autism, and it focuses on providing a means for individuals to express their thoughts and learn academic concepts.

Here are some key points about the Rapid Prompting Method:

Purpose: RPM aims to improve communication, academic skills, and overall cognitive abilities in individuals with limited speech or communication difficulties.

Physical Prompting: In RPM, a teacher or facilitator provides physical prompts, such as lightly touching or guiding the individual's hand, to help them navigate a letterboard, keyboard, or other communication tools.

Spelling out responses: The individual is asked questions or given prompts, and they respond by pointing to or typing out letters to form words or sentences. The facilitator provides support as needed to assist with accuracy and timing.

Focus on comprehension: RPM emphasizes comprehension of academic material rather than rote memorization. The individual is encouraged to understand concepts and provide thoughtful responses rather than simply repeating or echoing information.

Individualized approach: RPM recognizes that each individual has unique strengths, challenges, and learning styles. The method is tailored to meet the specific needs of each person, and the pace of instruction is adjusted accordingly.

Gradual fading of prompts: As the individual gains proficiency, prompts are gradually faded, reducing the physical support provided by the facilitator. The goal is to help the person become more independent in their communication and learning.

Integration of motor skills: RPM incorporates fine motor skills by involving the individual's hand movements in pointing to or typing out letters. This integration helps develop coordination and motor planning abilities.

Potential benefits: Advocates of RPM suggest that it can improve communication skills, increase attention and focus, enhance academic learning, and provide individuals with a means to express their thoughts and ideas more effectively.

Eye-tracking reveals agency in assisted autistic communication
Jaswal, et al. “Eye-tracking reveals agency in assisted autistic communication” Scientific Reports (2020)

Vikram Jaswal: Community support and cognitive science help flourish non-speaking autistics Misconceptions about autistic people— especially non speaking autistic people— abound. In this talk, Professor Jawal describes how his lab at the University of Virginia has been collaborating with non speaking autistic people and using the tools of cognitive science to correct some of these misconceptions. He offers examples from research that his lab has conducted on communication, literacy, and augmented reality. More accurately characterizing the strengths of non speaking autistic people, as well as the challenges they face, is essential to creating environments where they can flourish.

Research paper funded by Akhil Autism Foundation