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System of Least Prompts
Children and Students with Intellectual Disability

There are no group design studies of SLP in the Children and Students with Intellectual Disability topic area and the evidence from single-case design studies does not reach the threshold to include single-case design evidence in the effectiveness ratings for any domains in the topic area. Therefore, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of SLP on children and students with intellectual disability.
System of Least Prompts (SLP) is a practice that involves defining and implementing a hierarchy of prompts to assist students in learning a skill. A prompt is an action by the teacher or other practitioner—such as a verbal instruction to complete a task—that helps a student respond correctly during a learning activity. To use the procedure, the teacher or other practitioner systematically delivers the prompts to students in order, starting with the prompt that provides the least amount of assistance, and providing additional prompts with increasing levels of assistance until the student can correctly perform the task independently. For example, if a student does not independently complete a task following the initial instruction, a teacher may help the student by providing the least-intrusive prompt, such as restating the instruction. If the response still does not occur, the teacher may present the next most intrusive prompt, such as rephrasing the instruction. The teacher continues with more intrusive prompts, such as modeling how to do the task, until the desired response occurs reliably or all the prompts in the sequence have been used. The last prompt, often called the controlling prompt, should result in the student responding correctly. SLP is also known as “least-to-most prompting” or “least intrusive prompts.” SLP does not have a single developer that provides guidance or materials.

Last Updated: January 2018

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