Ask A Therapist: 17 year old with Autism


My son is 17 and has Autism. He has received speech services since he was 2.8 months old. The most successful therapy has been PROMPT for him. Currently he has 3 therapists working with him. One specializes in PROMPT, the other specializes with his talker device and the other is on the team. My son rarely uses his talker which he acquired about 3 years ago. He basically uses one word to meet his wants.  Unknown people can’t understand him. He has hypotonia. He drops off the ending of his words. We recently (Fall of 2015) brought back PROMPT therapist as his speech was regressing with traditional imitative speech therapy. He was saying the /sh/ sound for the /s/ sound and we were having trouble getting the retraction.  Would the horn program help and if so how? And could I do it as a parent? I use PROMPT with my son to correct the /s/ as in yes, but I am not using PROMPT extensively as the SLP is in therapy.

Thanks for your advice.


Hi Gina,

I am a speech language pathologist who is trained in Prompt as well as TalkTools. I often use the two together for many of the patients I see. I feel they are two approaches that often help my patients with difficulty with verbal communication. I think it is great that you are considering pursuing both for your son. I would encourage you to try to find a TalkTools trained therapist in your area to evaluate your son and create a program plan for you to follow if that is available. You can do it all yourself but you would need to watch the video A Three-Part Treatment Plan for Oral Placement Therapy and follow the directions included in your kit. The horns would work on tongue retraction as well as the Bubble Kit and straw drinking. I often use these activities together with patients working on tongue retraction.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

I am happy to help.



Elizabeth Smithson, MSP, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has over 10 years of professional experience working with infants, children, adolescents and adults. She earned her Master of Speech Pathology at the University of South Carolina. Liz is also a Level 5 TalkTools® Trained Therapist. She has received specialized training in Oral Placement Therapy, Speech, Feeding, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, and PROMPT©. Liz works with clients with a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She works through her own private practice Elizabeth Smithson Therapy, LLC in the home setting and in the TalkTools® office in Charleston, SC.

Talktool admin 17 Aug 16

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