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Rapid Prompting Method-Soma

The Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) was created by the parent of a child with autism (AU) and popularized by the media.


The Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) is designed to teach academics and communication. Its creator reported that her method activates “the reasoning part of the brain so that the student becomes distracted by and engaged in learning” (Mukhopadhyay, 2008). RPM uses constant and frequent prompting in one-to-one sessions to initiate a learner’s independent response. In addition to teaching letter-chart pointing, RPM also utilizes stencils and other drawing exercises to lead to independent handwriting. Functionally, RPM may be equivalent to facilitated communication; the academic and other communicative responses yielded through this technique may not reflect the true motives or abilities of the individual but may be a product of prompt dependency (Tostanoski, Lang, Raulston, Carnett, & Davis, 2014).

RPM instructors must take classes from Soma@RPM to use the method. RPM requires the facilitator to use a “Teach-Ask” technique to elicit responses from the learner by providing the learner with intensive verbal, auditory, visual or tactile prompts. The learner’s responses evolve from picking up answers to pointing to typing and writing. RPM is considered a low-tech approach that requires only an instructor, the learner, paper, and pencil.

Recently published commentary suggests that RPM is not research-based and the similarities between RPM and other dangerous and ineffective interventions suggest RPM may not be safe.

Research Summary

Ages (yrs) Skills Settings Outcome
8-14 Repetitive behavior, communication, cognition School

Outcomes:     Evidence-based     Emerging     No evidence     Comprehensive

Steps for Implementation


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