Wisconsin Boy with Autism Uses “Rapid Prompting Method” To Communicate

Wisconsin parents Craig and Carrie Grenfell thought they lost their son, Alec, at 18 months when he went from being typically developing, to showing signs of a developmental delay. Alec was then diagnosed with autism, and his parents were unsure if they would ever be able to communicate with their son. For years, they tried numerous methods, trying to communicate with him, but all Alec would do is yell and have meltdowns.

It wasn’t until 2008 when the Grenfell’s went with Alec’s speech therapist, Jackie Dorshorst, to Texas to meet with Soma Mukhopadhyay and learn about her “RPM” method. Sona had developed the “Rapid Prompting Method” to use as a treatment for her own son with autism. “RPM” is simple in that only involves 4 things: the student, the instructor, paper, and a pencil, and is based on the brain function. “RPM” focuses on teaching the student academics by using a “teach-ask” approach, which elicits responses through verbal visual, or auditory prompts. The method begins with the student picking up the correct answer on a piece of paper, and evolves to pointing to the answer, to then typing and writing out the answers.

Alec and his speech therapist have been utilizing the “Rapid Prompting Method,” and now Alec is able to communicate with his parents. “People with autism have information in their minds, but they don’t have the processing and the links to get it out of their mouth,” Jackie Dorshorst explains. Alec’s family is extremely relieved and pleased by his improvement. His father is especially proud as he said,

“He’s a very spiritual kid. He wants to help others. He’s said his goal is to be a beacon of light for kids with autism. He wants to show what this method can do and that these kids have a lot going on.” [i]

“RPM” is still a fairly new approach, and although many parents claim to have excellent results thus far, more scientific research needs to be conducted to support such testaments.

[i] “Fox 6 Now” “Rapid Prompting Method” helps boy with autism communicate. 1 Jul 2013. Web. <http://fox6now.com/2013/06/30/rapid-prompting-method-helps-boy-with-autism-communicate/>

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