Educating others about RPM
RPM = a TEACHING method
RAPID PROMPTING METHOD
It is important for parents to know that there are critics of RPM – people who have written papers seeking to debunk it : making claims about subtle influencing/moving the board /calling it trickery (so the words are not the child's) etc. These people may see a short video clip, often of a person beginning to learn using RPM and make the wrong assumptions. They may see lots of prompting – not understanding that this is being done for known answers during teach/ask sessions. Unfortunately, they may also see a bad example where the teacher moves the letter-board or gives subtle prompts during open communication.
RPM was NOT developed as a communication method – it is a TEACHING METHOD designed to empower students to express their learning with the best possible means; which will be determined by their current motor skills and CAN lead to open communication skills. As the student become more fluent, there is continuous work towards BUILDING THE STUDENT’S SKILLS to fully INDEPENDENT POINTING on a device which is not held by anyone and without any physical touch to the student’s body (as achieved by Tito).
When talking about RPM to others please DO NOT SAY YOUR CHILD COMMUNICATES USING RPM. (I admit that I have said this in the past!). Instead explain that you have taught them/are teaching them how to point on a letter-board/keyboard etc, and that the METHOD YOU USED/ARE USING TO TEACH THIS SKILL IS CALLED THE RAPID PROMPTING METHOD (RPM ) and that you are continuing to practice to improve the skill. You are working towards fully independent pointing/typing as well as using RPM to develop the motor skills to enable your child to participate in games, develop hobbies and become as independent in daily living as possible. Please emphasize the SKILL- BUILDING side to RPM - teaching the SKILL OF PURPOSEFUL MOVEMENT.