Prompting Procedures

January 28, 2021

1.28.2021 Prompting Procedures.

This is important information for all of us in the special education world. Bringing this post out of the archives to share again!


1.9.2019 Do you know the types of prompts used for instruction and practicing skills? Are you familiar with the importance of using the correct procedures?

Every Thursday morning, we, the staff at Crossroads compile together for a meeting which is named “briefings.” We discuss many things at our weekly meetings, and often we have trainings at this time.

Here’s a past training that was presented for us by Carolyn Sniezyk, Clinical Director. This training was about prompting procedures, and chock full of content. There was a great deal of discussion. Here are some of the many pieces of information that you might find helpful at work or at home:

  1. Verbal Prompts – this is the most commonly used type of prompting and can be presented in a variety of manners. You might prompt with a sentence or a word. You might enunciate a word. The verbal prompt could be a whole word, part of the word, or just the first phoneme of the word so that the child is moved to actually make the word you are trying to elicit. The key to success is using the least amount of prompting necessary to elicit the response you want the child to display.
  2. Visual – these prompts might include pictures, picture symbols, words, signs, posters, and are also used a great deal, especially with kid such as ours at Crossroads.
  3. Gestural – gestures such as pointing to, looking at, or touching an item or area to indicate a correct response can be helpful when the visual alone is not getting the response.
  4. Positional – often a simple change in the position of a stimulus, material, or of the child can prompt the response if the lesser prompts are not working. For example, bringing the picture of the horse a little bit closer when you are asking the child to touch the horse and leaving the cow and the chicken farther away, may help her to do what is being asked.
  5. Modeling – sometimes students need a higher degree of prompting, and acting out of the target behavior by the adult or another child can be helpful. The students must be able to imitate to benefit from this type of prompting. Video modeling can incorporate the student modeling for himself or herself.
  6. Physical – this is when hand-over-hand moving the child through the motions to perform a task, and is the most restrictive form of prompting. It could also be given in levels; for instance, an elbow tap is less restrictive than a full hand over hand for a skill such as “raise hand.”

While there is so much more to learn, as an Applied Behavior Analysis school, techniques such as these are taught and reviewed frequently so that we can work together consistently and provide the finest instruction to our students.


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