Physical Prompting “Think Abouts”

  • Situation

    I am using a prompt hierarchy from most to least with a student to teach eating with a spoon. But whenever I do hand-over-hand he jerks his hand away – how can I teach him?

  • Summary

    Use careful observation to note how to individualize prompting for students. Observe and note what the student can tolerate or cannot tolerate. When physical prompting is difficult for a student consider holding items near a student’s hand and allowing him/her to initiate contact, or touch other parts of the body to prompt guiding movement such as an elbow or arm.

  • Definition

    Physical Prompting “Think Abouts’ – simply means to carefully observe and note the type of physical prompting students can or cannot tolerate and devising alternate tolerable means of prompting.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites


  • Process

    1. You want to provide hand-over-hand prompting for a student using a spoon for eating. The student pulls away each time you touch his hand. Attempt to place the spoon in the student’s hand.

    2. Do not continue with full physical prompting.

    3. Begin to gently prompt another part of the student such as his elbow.

    4. Continue with prompting the forearm gently to the student’s mouth.

    5. Check with an occupational therapist to advise regarding adaptive feeding equipment that might assist the student.

  • Documents and Related Resources



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