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Review of Soma Rapid Prompt Method (RPM)

Treatment of Communication Disorders: A Review of Soma® Rapid Prompt Method

By Thomas Zane, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Little Star Center advisory board member

The mission of the Cambridge Center is to, “…. advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane application to the solution of practical problems, including the prevention and relief of human suffering.” The application of the scientific method of study and research is recognized as providing more valid results than other ways of knowing. One area of concern being studied extensively lately is Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD).

One of the primary characteristics of the autism spectrum disorders is communication impairment (APA, 2000). These can take many forms, such as a complete lack of or delay in the developmental of spoken language, an inability to use any functional communication, an inability to initiate or sustain reciprocal conversation, and odd speech mannerisms (e.g., scripting).

To treat communication disorders, there exist a large number of therapeutic strategies. Searching “therapies to improve communication in autism” in a Google search yields 6,890,000 results. Included in this vast list are Auditory Integration Training, Speech Therapy, Picture Exchange Communication System, and Music Therapy.  Within this list one finds the Soma®RPM (Rapid Prompt Method; RPM), developed by Soma Mukhopadhyay (HALO, 2012).  The purpose of this article is to review RPM in terms of its conceptual underpinnings, methodology, and – most importantly – the extent to which there exists an empirical research database showing that this particular method is effective in improving specific aspects of communication.

Dr. Zane is a professor at the Institute for Behavioral Studies at The Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Endicott College.Click here to read his entire syndicated column.