I am a master of the phonemic prompt. My son even uses it with me. “Mom, do you think we should got to the store and buy some L…(legos?) It’s so effective that it works on many of my colleagues. I may be in the gym and I’ll say something like, “It’s time to throw the b….. and I’ll hear an OT fill in “BALL!” from across the room. We are usually so good at providing cues or prompts that we may forget that we are doing them. We start to wonder if a teacher or parents could do the same thing we are doing.
Do we really need to be seeing that kid for vocabulary? Are we doing anything different than a teacher or tutor would be doing? In outpatient settings, cues are one way that we document our skilled service. We need to document why we as speech language pathologists need to be seeing a patient rather than the parent, a nanny, a tutor etc.
I wish we could just say, “Well, because I went to school for 5 1/2 years to study speech language pathology and the parents didn’t. I bet my doctor doesn’t have to explain why he is the best person vs. my local bus driver to treat my thyroid disorder.
I’ve heard of school districts that are starting to move away from having Speech language pathologists treat students who have language only IEPs. Thinking about cues and how we treat things differently from classroom teachers or special education teachers can help us make a case for WHY we should be involved with these students.
My topic for this month is going to look more in depth at cueing. I should bring up that some people do distinguish between cues and prompts. Cues are considered more natural things that happen which can result in a particular behavior. Prompts are what we provide to help students or clients improve. I really liked the rhyming of clue/cue so I’m going to refer to them as cues. Please feel free to substitute prompt for cue as you read this month if you distinguish between the two.
Check back throughout the month as I dig a little deeper into: visual, gestural, verbal, tactile and environmental cues.