Monday, November 10, 2008

Indirect Prompts

In RDI®, the goal is co-regulation, not compliance. Direct prompts foster compliance, and do not teach a child how to think. By using indirect prompts, you are offering your child an opportunity to practice dynamic thinking. It may take a little bit longer to get things done, but in the long run, your child’s cognitive growth will be worth it.

Remember, it’s always better to show than to tell. Use gestures and nonverbal prompts whenever possible. For those moments when you really need to say something, try to word it indirectly. Pair it with a gesture or other nonverbal cue if you’re concerned that your child won’t understand, and make sure you give your child extra processing time.

Direct Prompts
Pick that up.
Come here.
Put this in the box.
Eat your dinner.
Push in your chair.
Put on your coat.
Brush your teeth.
Give me that.
Stop that!

Indirect Prompts
That doesn't belong there.
I need your help.
That goes over there.
Your food is getting cold.
You're too far.
Here is your toothbrush.
It's cold outside.
I like that one.
I don't like it when you do that.

These are just a few examples of ways to “prompt” our children without actually prompting them. Of course, if your child is running into traffic, use a direct prompt and whatever means necessary to keep him or her safe. However, in most situations, it is possible to use indirect prompts. Try to think of ways to re-word other prompts in ways that offer your child opportunities for thinking, rather than blind obedience.


Anonymous said...

I like the way you offered examples of indirect prompts. I find specifics like this very helpful.

Lisa Jo Rudy said...

Hey, this is terrific, Laurel. What a great resource for parents. I will bookmark you!



Chef Penny said...

Great job! I am going to share this with my local autism support group! Thanks!

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