What is a Prompt

Prompt is an action a parent, teacher, caregiver, uses to ensure a child completes a task in the correct manner but must be faded away when there is a positive outcome.

Examples of prompt;

  • When teaching a child to tie his shoelace, you perform the task of tying his shoelace while he watches you afterwards, you ask him to repeat the action
  • When teaching the child how to brush teeth, you physically guide the child through the process. This ensures that the child performs the correct action
  • When teaching a child to fix a puzzle, you can point at the specific points, this helps the child to place the piece in the exact point.

Types of Prompts.

There are many types of prompts, here are a few that are frequently used.

Independent prompt: This is when a child can perform a task when asked to without assistance or prompt from a parent or teacher.

Visual Prompt: This comes in form of a picture the child sees giving information about the right answer or step to completing a task. Example; Flash card.

Verbal Prompt: It is a direct expression that follows an instruction inform of a hint or signal to assist the child complete a task or a step. Example; the sound of the first letter, “now that you have completed ——– what happens next?.

Gestural Prompt: When a parent, teacher or caregiver supports his/her teaching, explanation or instruction by pointing at, looking towards an object or touch with the purpose of getting the child to complete a task or step.

Modeling Prompt: When a parent demonstrates a task and then the child repeats task exactly as she/he has just seen it.

Physical Prompt: This is when a parent physically guides the child to give the right response. That is having your hand over a child’s hand or any other part of the body to teach the child a specific task or step. Such as feeding, walking, writing, brushing teeth.

Prompts are great tools to teach with, but you must know when to stop using them.