Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) is THE poster boy for pseudoscience lately. I was aware of RPM for years but never paid much attention for the same reason most of you never have- lack of evidence (or as some would call it: “street cred”).
Then something interesting happened. I was introduced to someone who used a letterboard to communicate. As others have indicated, it is hard to “unsee” once you have seen. I’ve been very interested in RPM ever since.
Maria Welch is an SLP colleague of mine who also happens to be an RPM provider. In today’s still somewhat scattered episode (this is our 2.5th time recording this conversation), we discuss:
What got Maria interested in RPM
Maria’s evolution in thinking about children with ASD
Motor Challenges and ASD
Intelligence, ASD, & Testing
Tailoring RPM lessons to student interest and ability
I am not endorsing RPM as a mainstream therapy to be used with all of our clients. As you will hear, I think there is more to this approach than meets the eye and that it has the potential to help some number of clients. Without a solid research base, I cannot begin to speculate on what that number is.
I am not trained in RPM and have no ties whatsoever with HALO (The nonprofit RPM organization) or with Soma Mukhopadhyay, the founder of RPM. I do not speak on behalf of anyone but myself. The same can be said for Maria whose experiences with RPM are hers alone.
To sum things up: use your best judgment, stay educated, and keep a level head!
Lastly, for those of you prone to instant outrage, please hold your Twitter fire until you actually listen to this episode. I can accept criticism. So can Maria. We’re all adults here, so please play nice.
1. Conversations in Speech Pathology (CSP) is a podcast about issues related to the clinical practice of speech pathology. My mission is for the show to be: Interesting, Thought Provoking, & Fun!
2. My interests are primarily Autism, AAC, and Speech Sound Disorders (SSD). I will continue to cover other areas as well from time to time.
3. Please don't assume that because I cover a particular topic or individual that I automatically endorse everything that is said on the show. I want to hear from a variety of voices and I may or may not agree with everything a particular guest might say.
Working FAQ (Updated Summer 2021)
1. Why don’t you put more episodes out on a regular basis? My podcast is a part-time passion of mine and it's a lot of work. For every hour of audio I record, there are about 4 hours of editing and other post-production work that need to get done. There are also a lot of other speech podcasts these days- I'm really impressed!
2. Do you feel a responsibility to champion evidence-based practice (EBP)? Yes, with a slight caveat. There are a number of issues in speech pathology where evidence for or against a particular intervention is lacking. Moreover, I'm finding more and more these days a serious lack of nuance and openness in certain corners of our profession. I have always believed that it is better to justify why you are doing a particular intervention than to do something just because it was cited in a study or because someone else is doing it.
3. I really like the podcast. How can I support what you’re doing? I’m glad you asked! There are 3 ways you can help me out:
1. Leave a review in Apple Podcasts or wherever else you listen to this show.
2. Spread the word! Share the show with a colleague/friend.
3. Perhaps you might benefit from my new digital products?
Conversations in Speech Pathology is a podcast meant to provide an ongoing dialogue about topics important to the practice of speech-language pathology/therapy. The show, its host, and guests do not provide medical or therapeutic advice regarding individual clients. Parents and other professionals are urged to seek the advice of a licensed professional for specific concerns regarding communication disorders/delays.
About the host...
I am now in my 22nd year as a speech-language pathologist. I began my career working with adults (acute/subacute, skilled nursing facility, trach/vent hospitals). Around 2000, I transitioned towards pediatrics and never looked back. I currently work in a school setting full-time (serving children with moderate-severe disabilities) while continuing a private practice part-time.
That’s the short version at least…
That's me with the family (background) at Chicago Botanic Garden (The Lightscape show).
Me and my trusty microphone!
Do you want to be alerted when an episode or blog post gets published? Sign up here.