Treatment Techniques

So what exactly do I do? Well, let’s start off with what I don’t do: I don’t espouse one program in particular; while staying up on top of current schools of thought and philosophies, I don’t jump from trend to trend or insist on one school of learning. Instead, I combine a little bit of this and a little bit of that with a lot of experience to custom create a program for your son or daughter.


PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. The technique is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a patient’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique develops motor control and the development of proper oral muscular movements, while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding.

Therapists begin by helping patients produce certain phonemes. A phoneme is the smallest increment of sound in speech. For example, the “d” sound in the word dog is one phoneme, the “o” is another and the “g” is yet another. Each phoneme requires different muscle contractions/retractions and placement/movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, neck and chest to produce. All of these things have to happen with the proper timing and sequence to produce one phoneme correctly.  The therapist attempts to “teach” the patient’s muscles to produce a phoneme correctly by stimulating all of these through touch. With the timing and movement of more than 100 muscles involved, you can see why the training is so intense.

PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of patients with communication disorders. The most common patients have motor speech disorders, articulation problems or are non-verbal children. Many patients with aphasia, apraxia/dyspraxia, dysarthria, pervasive development disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries and autism spectrum disorders have benefited from PROMPT therapy. An evaluation by a PROMPT-trained speech therapist is the only way to find out if a patient is appropriate for the therapy.


Official website of PROMPT institute:

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Created by Drs. Steve Gutstein and Rachelle Sheely at The Connections Center in Houston, TX., Relationship Development Intervention® (RDI®) is a program designed to remediate the core cognitive deficits of all individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.

RDI® is a parent based intervention.  Systematic parent and child objectives focus on personal and family growth.


For additional information on the RDI® Program , visit



Video modeling is a form of observational learning in which desired behaviors are learned by watching a video demonstration and then imitating of the behavior of the model. In video self-modeling (VSM), individuals observe themselves performing a behavior successfully on video, and then imitate the targeted behavior.

Video modeling has been used to teach many skills, including social skills and communication; it has shown promise as an intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).




A Social Story™ describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format.

The goal of a Social Story™ is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience. Half of all Social Stories™ developed should affirm something that an individual does well.


The Gray Center –

Carol Gray: What are Social Stories?!



Social thinking is what we do when we interact with people: we think about them. And how we think about people affects how we behave, which in turn affects how others respond to us, which in turn affects our own emotions.

A treatment framework and curriculum developed by Michelle Garcia Winner targets improving individual social thinking abilities, regardless of diagnostic label. Professionals and parents alike are using these methods to build social thinking and related skills sin students and adults. Social Thinking books, workshops and training, created by Winner or based on Winner’s work, now offer a range of strategies that address individual strengths and weaknesses in processing social information.


Social Thinking Official Website



Pam has written ten books on the topics of apraxia, oral-motor, thumb-sucking, drooling and articulation therapy. Many have become best-sellers in the field of speech-language pathology.


Official Website



The cycles approach to phonological remediation—is based on developmental phonology theories and cognitive psychology principles as well as on ongoing clinical phonology research. The cycles approach most closely aligns with the gestural phonology theory (Browman & Goldstein, 1986). A basic tenet of gestural phonology is that phonological representation is based on speech perception as well as on “speech production physical constraints.” Seven underlying concepts serve as the basis for the cycles approach (Hodson, 2007; Hodson & Paden, 1991).


Website :


The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol is a way of teaching children with apraxia of speech the easiest way of saying words until they have increased motor-speech coordination. They are actually taught the shell of words without including too many of the complex consonants, vowels, or syllables which make a word too difficult to even attempt on a motor basis.

This teaching method is a reflection of how young children attempt “first words.” For example, the word “bottle” may begin as “ba,” progress to “baba,” later becomes “bado,” and eventually, “bottle.” From the very beginning of infant speech, there are very few “whole” words pronounced. The K-SLP gives children of all ages a way to attempt difficult words using word approximations, and refining and reinforcing these attempts toward whole target words and phrases. It is a systematic approach that has been beneficial, logical, and an efficient way to tackle developmental apraxia of speech.


Official Website:


Ellyn Lucas Arwood, Ed.D., has been a speech-language pathologist, educator, and special educator for the past 35 years. She began working with children with autism in 1972. She is the author of five textbooks, numerous articles, chapters, and monographs, and has made 100’s of presentations in the area of learning and language.

Dr. Arwood has often been referred to as a lady before her time, as she created numerous instructional ways of helping children and adults become productive academically and socially. For example, Dr. Arwood began using drawing with nonverbal students in 1971, developing it into drawn pictures, event-based pictures, cartoons and flowcharts. Today, these types of visual materials are frequently used with children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. A professor at the University of Portland, Portland, Oregon, in the School of Education, Dr. Arwood enjoys an international reputation in learning and language, especially as it relates to students with neurogenic disabilities.

Arwood team with Carole Kaulitz to create their latest AAPC published book Learning with a Visual Brain in an Auditory World: Visual Language Strategies for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.



Literacy Speaks!® is an exciting and innovative approach that improves children’s speech intelligibility and language skills while developing a strong literacy foundation. Literacy Speaks!® is a systematic program that utilizes evidence-based techniques. The Literacy Speaks!® program is effective for preschool through early elementary school children, children with special needs, English language learners, economically disadvantaged students and children with communication disorders.

Literacy Speaks!®  techniques have been successfully implemented by speech-language pathologists, educators, literacy specialists and parents.


Official Website:



The Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking® (V/V®) program, created by Nanci Bell, helps struggling readers develop the sensory-cognitive function of concept imagery. Unlike most reading and comprehension programs, V/V instruction directly applies concept imagery to the comprehension and expression of both oral and written language, as well as the development of critical thinking skills, Students in the V/V program move through a series of steps to learn the process for creating an imaged gestalt, then integrating that imagery with language to strengthen their comprehension and critical thinking.

Links :

Offficial Website:



Oral Placement Therapy (OPT, a new term coined by Sara Rosenfeld Johnson of TalkTools Therapy®) is a type of oral-motor therapy used by Speech-Language Pathologists to target specific movements needed for speech clarity and feeding. It is one aspect of an oral motor therapy program that addresses the motor components used in feeding and speech. Oral motor therapy (OMT) can be used with a variety of clients including those with Down Syndrome.




The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is used to rapidly teach communication skills to those with limited functional speech.  PECS promotes communication within a social context, without lengthy prerequisite training.  Training in PECS begins by teaching a spontaneous request and goes on to teach additional communicative functions such as responding to questions and commenting.  An added attraction for preschool children with autism and related disabilities is the high proportion of children who acquire independent speech.  PECS has been implemented with individuals with autism, related developmental disabilities, and/or limited communication skills.


Offficial Website:



The Greenspan Floortime Approach is a system developed by the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan. Floortime meets children where they are and builds upon their strengths and abilities through creating a warm relationship and interacting. It challenges them to go further and to develop who they are rather than what their diagnosis says.

In Floortime, you use this time with your child to excite her interests, draw her to connect to you, and challenge her to be creative, curious, and spontaneous—all of which move her forward intellectually and emotionally. (As children get older, Floortime essentially morphs into an exciting, back-and-forth time of exploring the child’s ideas.)


The Greenspan Floortime Approach:



Gottwald, S.R. (2010). Working with preschoolers who stutter and their families: A multi-dimensional approach. In B. Guitar and R. McCauley (Eds.),Treatment of stuttering: Established and emerging interventions.Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins. Gottwald, S.R. & Starkweather, C.W. (1999). Stuttering prevention and early intervention: A multi-process approach. In M. Onslow & A. Packman (Eds.), Early stuttering: A handbook of intervention strategies(pp. 53-82). San Diego, CA: Singular.

Summary of intervention principles:

  • Extensive parental involvement in the homes
  • Emotional support for the parents
  • Techniques’: reductions in expressive language demand
  • High level of professional guidance by the clinician
  • Direct treatment
  • No ‘conspiracy of silence’
  • Flexible/individualised application of the program/approach


National Stuttering Association:

The Stuttering Foundation: