My son, Jeremy Sicile-Kira, wrote the article below about the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) which appeared in the January 2010 issue of The Autism File. If you watch the HBO movie on April 2, A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism, you will see Soma Mukhopadhyay teaching a child using RPM.
How the Rapid Prompting Method Gave Me A Voice
Having Autism is hard enough, especially when it comes to communication for people who are non-verbal like myself. The Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) is not only a learning method but a door to open-ended communication for different people with autism. It is my good fortune to have been taught by Soma Mukhopadhyay, who pioneered RPM.
Soma, originally from India, has a son with autism named Tito, who is the mighty inspiration behind RPM. Soma needed to create a method that would help him not only to learn, but to communicate as well. Soma was frustrated with the schools in India, where they lived, because they wouldn’t accept Tito as a student. Just like they told my parents in France, where I was born, they told Soma that Tito was mentally retarded. I was “diagnosed” with mental retardation too, yet here we are both using RPM to discuss our similar past experience.
RPM is a method that can be used with different people as it is adapted to the needs of each individual. Some are auditory learners, some are visual learners and the RPM teacher uses the learning channel that is best for that person. RPM uses a “teach and ask” paradigm for eliciting responses through intensive verbal, visual and or tactile prompts. RPM starts with the idea that all students are capable of learning. Despite behaviors, the academic focus of every RPM lesson is designed to activate the reasoning part of the brain so the students becomes distracted and engaged in the learning. The prompting competes with student’s self-stimulatory behavior. Continue reading »