Rapid Prompting Method and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Systematic Review Exposes Lack of Evidence

  • Ralf W. SchlosserEmail author
  • Bronwyn Hemsley
  • Howard Shane
  • James Todd
  • Russell Lang
  • Scott O. Lilienfeld
  • David Trembath
  • Mark Mostert
  • Seraphina Fong
  • Samuel Odom
Review Paper


This systematic review is aimed at examining the effectiveness of the rapid prompting method (RPM) for enhancing motor, speech, language, and communication and for decreasing problem behaviors in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A multi-faceted search strategy was carried out. A range of participant and study variables and risk and bias indicators were identified for data extraction. RPM had to be evaluated as an intervention using a research design capable of empirical demonstration of RPM’s effects. No studies met the inclusion criteria, resulting in an empty review that documents a meaningful knowledge gap. Controlled trials of RPM are warranted. Given the striking similarities between RPM and Facilitated Communication, research that examines the authorship of RPM-produced messages needs to be conducted.


Autism spectrum disorder Facilitated communication Rapid prompting method Systematic review 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent


Supplementary material

40489_2019_175_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf W. Schlosser
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Bronwyn Hemsley
    • 4
  • Howard Shane
    • 2
    • 5
  • James Todd
    • 6
  • Russell Lang
    • 7
  • Scott O. Lilienfeld
    • 8
    • 9
  • David Trembath
    • 10
  • Mark Mostert
    • 11
  • Seraphina Fong
    • 12
  • Samuel Odom
    • 13
  1. 1.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement, Center for Communication EnhancementBoston Children’s HospitalWalthamUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Augmentative and Alternative CommunicationUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Speech Pathology, Graduate School of HealthUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  5. 5.OtolaryngologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA
  7. 7.Special Education, Department of Curriculum and InstructionTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  8. 8.Department of PsychologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  9. 9.School of Psychological SciencesUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  10. 10.Menzies Allied Health Institute, School of Allied Health SciencesGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia
  11. 11.School of EducationRegent UniversityVirginia BeachUSA
  12. 12.Department of PsychologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  13. 13.Frank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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