Everyone needs help when learning new skills.
There are many different ways to help children on the spectrum learn how to acquire new skills.
Prompting is a technique to help children develop and incorporate new skills while the therapist gives instructions at the same time.
BCBAs use different kinds of prompting to help teach their clients to learn new skills.
A model prompt is when the therapist shows the child the skills that they are teaching. The child learns by watching and imitating.
For example, when teaching a child how to wash their hands, the therapist will wash his own hands to model for the client.
A verbal prompt is when the therapist SAYS something to hint to the child what they want him to do.
For example, if we are working with a child on eye contact, the therapist may use a verbal prompt by telling the child “Think with your eyes” or “look at me when you talk.”
The second type of verbal prompt is when the therapist will deliberately stress a particular word such as “give me the BLUE crayon.”
A visual prompt is when the therapist uses a visual to show the learner what you want him to do. For example, the therapist will gesture to the student to come here when working on direction following. While gestural prompts are the most common form of visual prompting.
Other examples of visual prompting include the use of visual schedules, timers, and pictures.
A physical prompt is a prompting strategy that involves the use of physical guidance to help a child DO a task. For example, when teaching a child to tie their shoes, the therapist will guide the child using hand over hand prompting to practice this skill.