Getting started with telehealth for early intervention: Learning modules
Just as important as helping your child to do new skills, is knowing when to start encouraging them to do the skills independently.
Prompt fading includes strategies to fade the use of prompts until children are doing skills on their own, when appropriate.
There are some times when fading a prompt is not necessary. Thinking back to our example about schedules and calendars, these are visual prompts that many of us use daily that do not need to be faded.
However, when teaching new skills, there are times when prompt fading is necessary to help children learn to do skills independently. Such as your child learning to use a spoon to feed themselves, or learning to communicate something that they see nearby to you.
Your provider can work with you to fade out prompts in small steps, to help your child to be successful and to not be frustrated.
Here are some examples
Isaac is learning to put on his shoes. This is how prompts are faded to help him.
- Dad helps Isaac with a physical prompt of guiding his hands through the steps putting on his shoes,
- After Isaac is successful with Step 1, Dad begins just softly touching the shoes and then touching Isaac’s heal to show Isaac to pull the shoe over his heel.
- After Isaac is successful with Step 2, Dad begins just pointing to the shoes and then verbally reminding Isaac to “pull it up” (over his heel).
- After Isaac is successful with Step 3, Dad waits for 30 seconds to see if Isaac can do the steps on his own, if Isaac starts to need help; Dad provides prompts at Step 3.
Demetrius is learning to understand the words for common foods.
Mom helps Demetrius learn to indicate from several pictures of foods which food was spoken to him. Here is how these prompts are faded to help him.
- Mom speaks the word “apple” and then touches the picture of an apple to indicate that Demetrius should touch or pick up that picture.
- After Demetrius is successful with Step 1, Mom speaks the word “apple” and then points to the picture of the apple to indicate that Demetrius should point to or pick up that picture.
- After Demetrius is successful with Step 2, Mom speaks the word “apple” and waits 30 seconds to see if Demetrius will point to or pick up the picture of the apple.
Mia is learning to communicate requests for things she likes.
Grandma helps Mia to request for juice using picture cards. Here is how these prompts are faded to help her.
- Grandma pours a little juice into a cup offers it to Mia. Once Mia drinks it and the cup is empty, Grandma gently guides Mia to pick up a picture of juice and to give it to her. She pours more juice into Mia’s cup.
- After Mia is successful with Step 1, Grandma pushes the picture of juice towards Mia and puts her open hand out (to indicate Mia can give her the card). Once Mia does, Grandma pours more juice into her cup.
- After Mia is successful with Step 2, Grandma puts out her open hand and waits 30 seconds to see if Mia will give her the picture. If she does not, Grandma will return to Step 1 or 2.