Types of Prompts

Types of Prompts

There are various types of prompts, for different learning styles and skill’s ability.

  1. Gestural Prompt

It is a method of using any type of action the child can observe a parent, siblings or caregiver doing. It can include pointing, reaching, nodding, giving information about the correct response or any other type of action the child can watch the adult do.

Example:  Mom points to or motions toward an object or area involved in completing the step with the goal of getting the child to engage in the behavior or complete the step.

  1. Physical Prompt

Physically aiding the child through the requested task, behavior, or activity. This method is also known as hand-over-hand assistance and is considered the most interrupting prompt. The child is assisted in the completion of the step. Sometimes, this includes placing hand over another body part (i.e. leg) to train a specific step such as walking.

  1. Verbal Prompt

A verbal prompt involves telling the child the correct response or giving a verbal cue, such as, the beginning sound of the word, object, or giving the direction more than once.

  1. Indirect verbal prompt – any verbal expression, in the form of a hint or signal to get the child to complete the step. Example ‘now that you have completed – what comes next?


  1. Direct Verbal Prompt – any verbal expression that involves directly telling the child what it requires to complete the step —that is direct command to complete a task or instruction.
  2. Visual Prompt

A visual prompt is a picture or cue that the child sees which provides information about that enhances the communication process. It includes a visual schedule, video, photos, drawing, flash cards.

  1. Modelling Prompt

It is a method where the parent/caregiver demonstrates or models the step and then has the child repeat step exactly as he/she has just seen it

  1. Positional Prompt

A positional prompt involves a parent or caregiver placing the right object, material, information closest to the child or in a way that assists in providing the correct response or information.

Prompts method of teaching has many benefits and encourages learning in children.  However, you must Fade prompt as quickly as you can to reduce the child’s reliance on prompt.

  • Are you teaching your child using Prompts?
  • Which Prompt is most effective?