Getting started with telehealth for early intervention: Learning modules


We all use prompts in our everyday lives, especially when we are learning new skills. For example, we often use calendars or to-do lists to schedule out our days. These are examples of prompts that are in our lives.

Prompting is used to teach your child new skills.

Your provider will coach you on systematic ways to use prompts to help your child. If you have any questions or need suggestions, your provider can help you to find new ways to prompt your child.

Give your child the chance to consent to physical prompts, saying things like "I am going to help you tie your shoes" helps your child to understand that they have autonomy over their body. If you notice your child resisting prompting (pulling away from your attempts to help them) this is a good time to stop and re-evaluate how to teach these skills with your provider.

Types of prompts that may be used include:

Gently helping your child do a new skill, such as helping them to hold a spoon, a crayon or guiding them to put on their shoes.

Gently using touch to cue your child while learning a new skill, such as tapping their foot to remind them to put on their shoes or touching their hand to remind them to use a spoon.

Pointing towards something to help your child learn a new skill, such as pointing at their shoe to remind them to put on their shoe, or pointing to a picture of a cow when speaking the word “cow” to show them that the picture means what you are saying.

Saying something to remind or help your child learn a new skill, such as saying “use spoon” to remind them to use their spoon when eating some yogurt, or “a cow says moo” after asking your child what sound a cow makes.

Providing pictures or words or other visual cues to help your child learn a new skill, such as a visual countdown clock to show time passing as your child is waiting for an activity to begin or a visual schedule that shows the steps to complete for washing hands.

Children have many strengths, as they learn skills, these can become prompts to the next set of skills that they learn. For example, if your child has learned to imitate 1 play action, this can become a prompt to them learning to imitate 2 play actions.