(512) 465-9595

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About us


WELCOME TO HALO

HALO is an organization which provides the services of Soma®RPM, an academic program leading towards communication, the expression of reasoning and understanding, more reliable motor skills, and greater sensory tolerance.

We aim to provide the highest level of service for those diagnosed with autism (verbal and non-verbal), cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other related disorders.

HALO (Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach) was established in the year 2002 by Wes and Linda Lange to be a center for RPM, the method Soma Mukhopadhyay created to work with her own son, Tito, who is autistic. Through Soma's efforts, Tito surpassed all expectations to become an accomplished student and the published author of multiple books.

In 2003, Soma was asked to join HALO as a full-time Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) provider at the clinic in Austin, Texas. Her work has focused on teaching students and families, as well as training new RPM providers and practitioners.

​HALO is a non-profit organization. 

HALO’s goal is to impart education using RPM, a trademark of Soma Mukhopadhyay. 

 

Hours & Contact Info

Tuesday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. 

Saturday - 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Workshop hours: 9:00 a.m.  to 3:45 p.m.

(512) 465-9595

information@halo-soma.org

 

Welcome to HALO

We are committed to excellence

Welcome to HALO. Our main goal is to always achieve a high level of service towards the community diagnosed with autism (verbal and non-verbal), cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other related disorders. 


We help students learn how to communicate their learning, understanding, reasoning and thoughts using RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) that was designed as an educational system to teach academic subjects and motor skills to navigate and spell on the letter board and key board. 


RPM uses visual prompts (offering 2 choices in the beginning then moving on to a letterboard and keyboard), auditory prompts (teacher gives verbal encouragements), tactile prompts (by handing the pencil to the student to point at a letter or answer as a tactile reminder) to engage the student in a rhythmic loop - where the teacher teaches and student answers. If done correctly, this kind of harmonic engagement prevents the student from engaging in impulse or other OCD activities. 

 

Our Services 

 

Halo offers camps throughout the year for students who want a 4-day RPM schedule. Registration dates are announced on the HALO Facebook page (https://facebook.com/Halo.soma/


During a camp, each student has 2 one-on-one instructional sessions of duration 45 minutes and 30 minutes.

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. (1st student - first session) 

9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (2nd student - first session) 

10:40 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. (3rd student - first session) 

11: 15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (1st student - second session) 

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 a.m. (2nd student - second session) 

12:15 a.m. - 12:45 a.m. (3rd student - second session) 

Parents are encouraged to observe the sessions and ask questions so that they can try working with their children at home. Parents will be given an SD card containing a recording of the sessions. This is for personal use to enable analysis and learning.  

Camp price - $850 ( Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - 2 sessions each day) 

These are for groups of at least six students.

Soma will travel nationally and internationally to run RPM workshops where she will conduct one-on-one sessions with students which are live-streamed to an observation room. Parents and observers can watch all the sessions and participate in Q&A sessions with Soma during breaks or at the end of the day.


The day can comprise of a maximum of 12 sessions (or less to allow for more Q&A time) and usually students would be allocated two sessions with a break in between : 

 

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

 

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. - session 1

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - session 2

10: 00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - session 3

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - session 4

 

11: 00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - tea break

 

11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

 

11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - session 5

11:45 a.m. - 12: 15 p.m. - session 6

12:15 p.m. - 12: 45 p.m. - session 7

12: 45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - session 8

 

1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - tea break

 

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 .p.m : either/or

 

Either :

1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - session 9

2: 00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - session 10

2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - session 11

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - session 12

 

Or:

Question & answer session with parents/caregiver (for question & answer session handout may be e-mailed, if requested)

 

Cost and Payment - Contact Halo for workshop package. 

 


 

Level 1 – Introductory Practitioner Course

 

Number of days - 4 days

 

Dates of the training:

Professional - February 18, 19, 20, 21

Parent - April 14, 15, 16, 17 (this will be online through the Zoom)

 

Cost: $950

Who can take the course? Parents and professionals who want to use RPM to help their children and students.

 

An application form needs to be submitted along with a 5-minute video clip of an RPM session showing you working with your child/ student.

 

Who can take the course? Parents and professionals who want to use RPM to help their children and students.

 

The course comprises of 4 days of theoretical training input with videos to demonstrate key points. These are not RPM instructional sessions.

 

A training workbook will be provided by HALO.

 

Cancellations

Cancellations may not be refunded because it will be difficult for us to fill up the spot. However, if someone wants to mutually transfer the amount to another teacher/parent, HALO will accept that.

 

 

4-Day Course Content:

1. Principles of RPM

2. How to identify the open learning channels

3. Mental mapping

4. Methodologies to teach academics - Empirical method, Rational methods.

5. The 3 basic skills to develop - Classification skill, Combinatorial skill and Conservation skill

5. 4 objectives of an RPM session - cognitive, skill, tolerance and communication

6. Lesson planning

7. Selecting the student participation method and individualizing it based on the student’s - motor, sensory and emotional readiness

8. Sensory activities –what are they,  how and when to incorporate in lessons.

9. Types of prompts and when to use 

10. Pre-communication stages and how to work towards open communication

11. How to identify the types of Kinesthetic (motor)  actions - impulse, OCD, stimulatory actions and redirecting them towards purposeful motor actions.

12. Principles of redirecting unwanted actions - delay, dilute, scramble

13. Types of verbal students and how to adapt RPM sessions for them

14. Extending RPM to the environment (for home care uses outside an academic session)  -  body awareness and self help skills, self dictation skills, sensory learning for better participation in the environment

15. How to develop kinesthetic skills of handwriting and drawing.

 

 

 

Post-requisite

 

Cost - $ 85

You will be asked to submit a written lesson plan with a 5 - 10 minutes video of the lesson being delivered.

There will also be a review (test) through Skype with Soma based on what was covered. There will be a Skype setup.

If Soma is satisfied that you show a good basic understanding she will a certificate.

 

You will receive a certificate of completion - confirming satisfactory completion of the Level 1 Introductory Practitioner course and will be encouraged to continue to practice with your student(s) in order to develop your skills. It is recommended that you arrange to receive regular input from a Certified (intern) provider by going to observe their sessions and/or Skype with them) and observing any RPM workshops taking place in your area. 

 

If you wish to become an Approved RPM Level 1 Practitioner, and work with more than 1 student you will be required to submit further videos of your sessions with at least 2 more students. If Soma is satisfied she will add you to her approved list. Following this you can:

Conduct 1:1 sessions with students – explaining to the care givers what you are doing during the sessions so that they know how to go away and begin to work with that student. It is expected that you will continue to need input from a certified (intern) provider, particularly if working with a challenging student,  and you should be honest about this to the parents of any students you are working with.

 

If you wish to continue as an Approved Level 1 Practitioner you will be required to submit a 5-10 min video and Skype with Soma at least every 2 years (or more often if she requests it).

Soma Certified Provider (Intern) Training

This is by personal invitation from Soma – to those practitioners who have demonstrated that they have the right aptitude and potential.





For a 45-minute consult - $110

For a 30-minute consult - $85
2-hour Group consult may be arranged - contact HALO


For booking, contact HALO - information@halo-soma.org 

Inventory

What We Offer

Understanding Autism through Rapid Prompting Method 

There are many ways to describe an autistic person. A teacher who uses RPM to impart education, tries to look at the open learning channels and individualize the teaching techniques. This book describes how to detect the learning channels, how Stimulatory activity is not a behavior but a sensory defense mechanism, how to counter an excitatory stimulatory action and mental mapping.  
Price $43.25 

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Curriculum Guide for Autism using Rapid Prompting Method 

Academic Education is a fundamental right for everyone. Non speaking or partially speaking autistic individual fail to qualify the privileges of academic learning. This book is a syllabus for teachers who would be interested in teaching their autistic students topics from  - language and literature, social sciences, sciences and mathematics. 
Price - $50.82

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Developing Communication for Autism using Rapid Prompting Method 

Every learning is followed by a thought. Just as learning academics is important, so are creative thinking, expressing an opinion and future planning of one’s goals. The teacher encourages the student to spell his or her thoughts in an RPM session. 
Price - $ 43.25 

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Developing Motor Skills for Autism using Rapid Prompting Method 

Motor skills and navigating the environment is important for a student who has limited motor skills. Life becomes easy with freedom to communicate by navigating and spelling on a letter-board. A freedom towards a purposeful ( goal oriented ) navigating the environment makes life easier. Many students find this ‘locked within’ struggle not being able to do what he or she wishes. This book has step by step exercises to attain a better motor ability. 
Price - $37. 83 

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Harnessing Stims and Behaviors in Autism using Rapid Prompting Method 

Impulsive actions, OCD actions or an Excitatory stimulation can become a hurdle in an RPM instructional session. This book has lesson plan suggestions on how to work around those actions which can inhibit the learning process. 

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Developing Sensory Tolerance Using Rapid Prompting Method 

For many autistic individual participation in the environment becomes a problem because Autism feels like a sensory confinement. This book tries to address how to grow a step by step process of desensitizing and sensory adaptations so that life doesn’t have to be a list of sensory agony. 

Price - $ 43.25 

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Mathematical Concepts using Rapid Prompting method 

Mathematics is an integral part of our lives. However computing is a visual skill. Many students have global or selective vision and although they may have the intelligence to solve a problem like - “What percent of 786.4593 is 259.56” they may not have the visual stamina to solve, This book is for those students. It is about how to teach the story of Math without the need to compute. 
Price - $ 50.82 

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Stencils 

Stencils are visual and tactile prompts to communicate learning, understanding and thoughts. The student learns the motor skills to navigate the surface of the stencils. 
Price - Large letter stencil ( set of 3) - $ 54.13 Full lettered stencil - $ 27.06 Number stencil - $ 27.06 

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Currency Board and Navigating the Currency Board using RPM 

Students with global vision and global tactile and Kinesthetic skills find it difficult to work with currency. We created the currency board which allows the student to navigate the currency board and interact with the real world of trade. 
Price - Currency Board - $ 5.41 Navigating the Currency Board using RPM - $ 17.32 

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Growing a Visual Skill of Reading using Rapid Prompting Method 

Interacting with a book is another skill that can help a student grow a hobby towards independent reading. The selective visual skills many not allow a student to look at pages of a book and spend time with it. This book gives a step by step method - how to introduce the skill, how to expand it, how long to push the visual limit to make this successful. 
Price - $ 23.27 

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Learning Life Skills Using RPM 

In order to improve the quality of life, managing one’s own body is essential. Just like learning academics is important, learning to live with independence is required too. This book is for caregivers who would want their students to pursue self help goals using RPM principles. 
Price - $ 23. 76 

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Craft Kit 

It includes the Craft booklet. Keeping a student engaged can be a challenge specially if the weather does not permit going outside and playing. Activities using this kit creates better fine motor skills along with coordinating the visual focus. 
Price - $ 37.83

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Developing Expressive Language in Verbal Students with Autism using Rapid Prompting Method 

Verbal students may find it difficult to outgrow stimulatory speech, request based speech, OCD speech, scripted speech or rote speech. This book will help through step by step language integration lesson plans to outgrow them so that a verbal student can explore more speech. 
Price - $ 37.83 

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Our Team

 
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Ross Spenser Garsson

HALO President of the Board 


Ross Spencer Garsson is a member of Dickinson Wright PLLC (Austin office) in its intellectual property section. He has more than 25 years of experience practicing intellectual property and technology law. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and his B.A. in Mathematics (both cum laude) from Rice University and his J.D. (with honors) from the University of Texas School of Law, Austin. 

Ross practices on Intellectual Property litigation, patent prosecution, and intellectual portfolio management in areas including chemical, nanotechnology, semiconductor, computer technologies, and medical devices. 

Ross has litigated numerous intellectual property disputes in State and Federal district courts, the U.S. court appeals, and the U.S. International Trade Commission. 

Before Law school, he worked as an engineer at Standard Oil/BP. 

He is a Founding Master of the Barbara Jordan American Inn Of Court. He is on the advisory board of Rice Alliance and is on the Board of Directors at HALO (Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach) and the ACE Academy. 

Ross is the father of Hunter. Hunter has been coming to HALO for over a decade. 


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Soma Mukhopadhyay

Executive Director Creator of RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) for educating Autistic individuals 

Soma Mukhopadhyay lived in India until 2001, home schooling her autistic son Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, teaching him how to spell on a type - writer (later a computer) and hand write independently, since speech - communication was not easy for Tito. Soma and Tito were featured in a BBC Documentary "Tito's Story". By then Tito aged 11 had already hand-written a book "Beyond the Silence" which was published by the National Autistic Society (UK).

 

The Cure Autism Now Foundation invited Tito and Soma to the USA after they watched the BBC documentary and the parent members of the organization asked Soma to try her teaching method on their children. The success of her teaching technique on 7 non-speaking and 2 selectively speaking students with autism earned her a fellowship to implement her technique with other students in Los Angeles. Her work was featured in the  ‘60 Minutes’ program and Soma’s technique began to be called the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). 


The popularity of RPM began to grow  and HALO offered Soma a full time work environment. Soma continues to offer her services by offering camps, workshops and training for teachers and parents. 


Soma and Tito are featured in the BBC documentary - ‘Tito’s Story’, 60 Minutes, CNN, the HBO documentary -‘A Mother’s Courage’, the National Geographic Magazine, the Scientific American, People Magazine, the New York Times and the Austin American Statesman. 


Soma has a B.S. in Chemistry (honors), M.S. (Inorganic Chemistry), and B.Ed. 


She is on the Advisory Board of ‘Talk School’, Pennsylvania. 



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Amy Campbell

Board Member 

Amy Campbell holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in small business management, from University of Phoenix. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Business Admiration through the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. 

Amy is the Executive Director and Owner of ACE Teaching and Consulting. She is responsible for the business and management of the clinic. She enjoys working with families, get them prepared to work with Certified RPM provider Erika Anderson, sharing her knowledge about RPM and assisting the families. 

Amy serves as a President of RPM Support, member of 432 Civil Affairs  Battalion Family Readiness group. 


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Nancy Parkhurst

Board Member 

Nancy Parkhurst was raised on a ranch in western Kansas. In 1976, she graduated from Kansas State University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology.

She is married to Frederick Parkhurst and they are involved in construction and commercial real estate. They have two children, Luke (33) and Rachel (28).

Rachel has Angelman Syndrome. It is a neurogenetic disorder which has been

put on the Autism spectrum.  


Rachel has been working with Soma for 15 years.

She has been a national board member for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

Now she looks forward to working on the Halo board to help the Autism community.


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Maiyah McGuire

Bookkeeper 

Maiyah is managing HALO’s bookkeeping. She has formatted the HALO’s annual ‘Voices’, where we publish the short essays and stories of our students. She extracted training clips and videos. Outside HALO she has worked in various technical educational facilities and has focused a great deal on the operational management of small businesses. 

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Shawnta Jarmon 

Office Administrator 

Shawnta has been at Halo since 2018. She is also the parent of an autistic child. She greets and directs parents and students, takes phone messages and does HALO scheduling. 
She also does the data entry and answers emails. 
Outside HALO, Shawnta is a PTA Board member at her child's school. She also volunteers with her church. 

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Sue Finnes (U.K.)

Parent Advisor 

Sue Finnes has been running a full-time home-based program for her son since he was aged 7. Christopher, now aged 21, has autism, is non-verbal, has sensory issues, dyspraxia and epilepsy. 


Sue has been teaching Chris using the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) since 2011, when she was first able to see Soma Mukhopadhyay in the UK.  She has been so inspired by what she has seen Chris and other students achieve that she decided she wanted to empower more parents to learn and use this method with their children. Sue was previously a Senior Training Manager at Lloyds TSB and is now pleased to be able to use her skills helping others to learn this approach. She works closely with Soma to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is provided to parents on her international Facebook RPM parent learning group "Unlocking Voices -using RPM." Sue works hard to answer parents' questions promptly and to create free learning resources/videos for this group.

In the UK, Sue has set up a not-for- profit Community Interest Company called "Unlocking Voices - Using RPM" and she hosts annual Soma workshops and gives presentations along with Alexandra Hopwood, the UK Soma-certified RPM provider. Sue was honored to be a parent speaker at the HALO-RPM conference in 2017 and has provided input to many of Soma’s books.

Sue takes no fees for anything she does – it is all voluntary. 

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Meredith Altschuler

Parent Advisor 


Meredith Altschuler has been immersed in Soma-RPM since starting the academic program with her daughter, Chana, in September 2014. She credits RPM with transforming Chana’s life and the life of their family. Meredith, who has an M.S.W. from Tulane University specializing in Children & Families, taught play work to autism families and served as the teacher of a fully integrated non-verbal autism/NT classroom in her area before finding RPM. She currently moderates the RPM Homeschooling Parents’ Facebook group with over 750 members worldwide and teaches advanced RPM students via on-line group classes.

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Lisa Bailey (Canada)

Parent Advisor 

Lisa Bailey began teaching her son Fox with RPM in May 2014. She was looking for a new educational method geared towards non-verbal autistic students which would not be focused on extinguishing behaviors or repeatedly drilling basic skills. That year, Lisa travelled to HALO with her son to do a 4-day camp with Soma and found what she was looking for and so much more. RPM was completely transformational — it not only improved Fox's quality of life, but also that of their whole family. As Lisa’s passion about RPM grew, she wanted to help others also achieve success with it. So in 2016, she became a certified RPM Practitioner and in 2018 she co-founded RPM Ontario in Canada with three other RPM Practitioners. She now works with students all over Ontario. 
Lisa is also a co-moderator of the RPM Homeschooling Parents’ Facebook group, its mission is to help parents learn how to do RPM at home with their children. RPM — which Soma continues to develop and innovate — is a perfect match for Lisa’s belief in lifelong learning and growth.

The types of RPM teachers are:

 

Certified Soma-RPM Providers (these are the highest level teachers  - they have completed internships with Soma at HALO. They are often referred to as level 2 providers

 

These ‘intern’ certified providers are licensed by HALO to :

• Run Soma-style camps, workshops for groups, 1:1 student sessions, guide and coach parents/teachers/caregivers,

• Provide educational consultation services to schools and adult living facilities

 

Soma is confident that these certified providers can work effectively with any type of student, dealing with any behaviours/challenges, and delivering a wide range of subjects to all ages.

 

Soma Mukhopadhyay

HALO

www.halo-soma.org

USA

Clinic in Austin, Texas.

Also travels in the USA and internationally to run workshops- contact HALO for more info.

The creator of RPM who continues to develop and enhance it.

Erika Anderson

A.C.E. Teaching & Consulting

www.acetc.info

USA

Clinic in Wisconsin,Green Bay

Will travel USA and internationally to run workshops and provide educational consulting services for schools and parents

4 day intro course 2006

3 year HALO Apprenticeship 2007-2010

Certified provider status since 2010

Jackie Dorshorst

RPM+ for Autism

email : jackie.rpmplus@gmail.com

USA

Clinic in Waukesha, WI (near Milwaukee, WI)

Jackie will travel USA and internationally to run workshops and provide consulting services to schools, professionals and parents

4 day intro course 2010

HALO internship and Certified provider status since 2012

Lenae Crandall  

HEED

www.heedrpm.com

USA

Utah, Springville

In-home sessions and will travel USA and internationally to run workshops and provide consulting services to schools, professionals and parents

4 day intro course 2013

HALO internship and certified provider status since 2015

Alexandra Hopwood

RPM UK

www.rapidpromptingmethod.co.uk

Email info@rapidpromptingmethod.co.uk

United KIngdom

Clinic sessions in  Sutton Coldfield and Cheshire. Workshops in UK and Ireland

4 day intro course 2014

Practised RPM since 2011

HALO internship and certified provider status since 2014

Katie Anawalt, M.S., Speech-Language Pathologist, Assistive Technology Specialist.  -
email: katie.anawalt@gmail.com

USA

Los Angeles, CA- in home sessions

Will travel USA and internationally and provide consulting services to parents, professionals and schools

4 day intro course 2005

Practised RPM since 2004

HALO internship and certified status provider since 2013

Joanne Bello
email: joannebello@me.com

Website www.joannebello.org

USA

Boca Raton, Florida. 

1:1 in home sessions

4 day intro course 2012

HALO internship and certified provider status since 2015

Adriana Barriga

RPM of Texas

http://www.rpmoftexas.com

email: info@rpmoftexas.com

USA

Clinic in Fort Worth, Dallas, Texas

Available to travel nationally and internationally for workshops and to provide consulting services to parents, professionals and schools

4 day intro course 2014

HALO internship and certified provider status since 2016

Loris Farah  

Email: lfarahj@gmail.com

Mexico

Mexico City, in -home sessions

Available to travel nationally and internationally for workshops and to provide consulting services to parents, professionals and schools

4 day intro course 2015

HALO internship and certified provider status since 2017

Amy Brennan,M.S., OTR/L

RPM Cincinnati LLC  (based in Cincinnati, OH)

Email: information@rpmcinci.com  

Website: www.rpmcinci.com

USA

Clinic in  Cincinnati, Ohio

Will travel nationally and internationally for workshops and to provide consulting services to parents, professionals and schools

4 day intro course 2010

HALO internship and certified provider status since 2017

Claire Philbin

rapidpromptingmethod@gmail.com

Ireland

Clinic sessions in Co. Mayo, Co. Wexford & Co. Cork and travels to schools/services around Ireland

Also available  in the United Kingdom for workshops and to provide consulting services to parents, professionals and schools
(regularly in the London area)  and Europe

4 day intro course 2017

HALO internship and certified provider status since 2018

Katie Masotti

RPM Support LLC

masottirpm@gmail.com

(513)604-1898

USA

Cincinnati, OH

I am providing in home and school based sessions/consultation services. Available to travel nationally for workshops and to provide consultative services to parents, professionals and schools

4 day intro course 2016

1 week HALO observation March 2018

HALO internship and certified provider status since Jul 2019

Shannon Zish

Unspoken thoughts llc

https://www.unspokenthoughtsllc.com/

Email contact@unspokenthoughtsllc.com

USA

DC, MD, and VA (Tyson's Corner)

Will travel USA and internationally

4 day intro course 2014

Unspoken thoughts set up in 2015

HALO internship and certified provider status since August 2019

Soma-RPM Approved Practitioners  - These people have completed the 4 day intro training course and post requisites (video and lesson plan submission). In order to become ‘approved practitioners ‘ they have submitted further videos of themselves working with at least two other students. It is expected that they may need to consult with Soma or a certified provider if they have a particularly challenging student   They are often referred to as level 1 providers

 

An up-to-date list of Soma-RPM approved practitioners can be found on the facebook learning group called ‘Unlocking Voices- Using RPM’ https://www.facebook.com/groups/627199673958985/

 



What is RPM and How to get started for a beginner? 

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RPM is a method which empowers the student with a means to express their learning, understanding, reasoning and thoughts. 


The teacher learns how to access the open learning channels of the students and adapts the way the lessons are presented accordingly. 


It is an academic-based method, where the teacher tries to create a Teacher - Student response loop. This loop is intended to introduce an alertness and better focus in the student who begins to expect his role to respond immediately as the teacher finishes a statement. The rhythm created by this loop is aimed to overpower the student’s other engagements - Stims, OCD, impulses. 

This requires the teacher to be well prepared with lesson plans. 


The teacher presents information based on the cognitive objectives and the student responds his or her understanding and thoughts by spelling on a letterboard, handwriting, or selecting between correct and incorrect choices presented by the teacher.


The teacher creates a rhythmic loop of stating (teaching) and asking (student spelling responses). If done correctly, the student is kept fully engaged and this prevents the impulsive or OCD activities from taking control. 

Every RPM session has four objectives

Cognitive - The teacher will teach an academic topic depending on the student’s age, exposure to learning, interest, preoccupation. 

Skill - Based on the motor, sensory and emotional readiness of the student the teacher will ask the student to respond by making choices or spelling on either the large letter stencils, full letter stencil, full letter board, keyboard/device, handwriting, or speech. 

Tolerance- Every student has different levels of visual, auditory, tactile, performance and time tolerance. The teacher adapts to the student’s sensory and performance tolerances so that the student can make the best of the time. 

Communication - Communication is the output of learning. Learning / communication is an integral part of RPM. Communication goals involve – single words, sentences, paragraphs, essays, short stories, composition of poetry. 


Prompting in RPM lessons

RPM uses prompts to engage the student. Examples include : 


Visual prompts - where the teacher offers 2 choices for the student to select the correct answer, or where the teacher holds up the letter boards or stencils to request a response. 


Auditory prompts - where the teacher encourages the student to perform by saying aloud each letter after the student touches the right letter. 


Tactile prompts -where the teacher hands the pencil to the student to initiate the response to spell by pointing to the stencil. 


Using RPM to build skills: 

RPM is used to continually develop the student’s skills – this will range from responding by selecting from two choices, to pointing using letter stencils, letterboards, independent use of devices, handwriting and purposeful speech. Here is a short video showing the diversity of RPM.


RPM – Getting started 


  • Every parent wants their child to be able to communicate .


  • Often years have been spent using other therapies with minimal results and students are stuck at toddler level reading books, and counting 1-10.


  • The belief is that because the students are unable to DEMONSTRATE understanding in the way we want them to that the understanding is not there.


  • RPM is no quick fix. It is a teaching method which requires commitment and regular practise in order to build the skills of purposeful pointing, movement and self- help/independence skills.


  • A key RPM belief is that the brain is too precious to be wasted – all autistic people are capable of learning and through working with hundreds of students it has been found that they understand far more than they have been give credit for. The problem is that they lack the means of showing it. 

Before you start …..


  • It is useful to gain a perspective from autistic people who have used RPM to develop their skills. Soma’s son, Tito Mukhopdhyay has authored many books . It may be helpful to read ‘How can I talk if my lips don’t move. ‘ Ido Kedar is a student who learnt with Soma and has written a book about his experiences called ‘ Ido in Autismland’


  • It is also helpful to gain a perspective from other parents. There is a private parent-led Facebook learning group – ‘Unlocking Voices – Using RPM’ which provides links to free learning resources and enables you to connect with other parents and to ask questions. This group is not part of the HALO organization , but works closely with Soma to ensure that accurate information is provided.

How to get started 

Book to see a provider – either at their clinic or at a workshop

The easiest way to get started is to book to see Soma or a Soma-certified provider (highest level) or Soma approved practitioner. There will be no pre-assessment requirement. The provider will use age appropriate educational lessons and will assess/teach the skills of how to respond during the lesson. 

The provider should explain to you what they have done and why and tell you what to do to carry on developing the skills. It is good to have regular follow-ups – the frequency depends upon individual circumstances.

If you are unable to go to see a provider

You will need to do some self-study. Soma’s red and green books cover how to get started. Her green book has detailed write-ups of how to deliver starter sessions.

The Unlocking Voices- Using RPM Facebook group has links to many free learning resources to help you (e.g., short tutorial videos, transcripts from lessons, lesson plan resources ideas, links to other provider websites and link to purchase lesson plan books). You can post questions on this group.

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It would also be helpful to schedule a Skype for video feedback from a provider to ensure you are doing things correctly 

What 5 things can you do straight away to begin this journey?


  1. Talk to your child assuming they understand everything – even if they are not looking or are walking away.


  2. Provide cognitive age-appropriate stimulation. Read books, magazines, discuss what is on the radio when you are in the car.


  3. When out and about, talk about the environment. Point to things you are talking about and begin to teach your child to point to show you things (use hand over hand . Take photos and then teach how to point to the items on the photos.


  4. Encourage all purposeful, planned movements (but not in a ‘testing’ way, give as much help as ids needed). For instance, "you can pass me the potato – this is how you would do it (hand over hand), now you try."


  5. Give lots of exposure to the written word (e.g., put subtitles on the TV , read out the headlines in newspapers, magazines).










 
 
 
 
 
 

Upcoming Workshops

March 4 to 6 - Melbourne ( Australia)

March 7 to 9 - Perth ( Australia) 

March 28 to 29 - Long Island

May 3 to 5 - Birmingham ( UK) 

June 3 to 5 - NY 

June 27 to 28 - Long Island 

June 30 to July 2 - Dublin ( Ireland) 

July 25 to 26 - Long Island 

August 12 to 14 - San Francisco 


Workshop organizers are responsible for recording their sessions and inviting observers, teachers or families. 

 

HALO Services

We Put Your Needs First

Research 

The problem with RPM Research: 


  1. Age of the student: 

     RPM begins with all age ranges - 3 till 70 



  2. Student response :

    There is no baseline for a student response. Different students come with different motor skills. Some students can navigate a letterboard because of their generalized Kinesthetic ( or motor skills). Some students cannot ( which is not the end of the world. The teacher will teach the student how to point at letters and spell eventually) Those who have trouble touching the relevant letters, begin to respond to the teacher’s teaching by choosing between a correct and an incorrect choice presented by the teacher after teaching. Motor skill is gradually acquired with practice because the teacher will not give touch support. There are some verbal students who prefer to say the answers aloud. Again there are some selective verbal students ( having hyper-imitation or echoing back, scripted speech, request limited speech, OCD related speech or limited social speech ) may need to spell. 



  3. Different open learning channels :

    Generalized, selective, global are three ways we classify the vision, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic learning channels. Eg. : One student may have generalized vision, selective auditory, global tactile and selective kinesthetic learning channel. Some one else may have a different combination. The RPM teacher will adapt the implementation of a lesson according to how the learning channels manifest. These individualized adaptations are required for the best student performance. 



  4. Interruptions

    : A student’s learning and responding may be interrupted by His or her - impulse, OCD, emotion, excitatory stim. The teacher has to adapt the session accordingly. 



  5. RPM has no skill ceiling

    : There is no skill plateau in RPM. A student progresses from 2 choices to spelling on a letterboard with 26 letter choices. The skill extends to spelling on the keyboard, handwriting, navigating the environment and other environmental activities. However everything begins on a two dimensional surface of a letterboard and then progresses to the environment which also includes self help skills (navigating the three dimensional surface of one’s body). 


So where will a researcher begin without a base point or a summit point? 


Despite these difficulties we are thankful to the Cornell University for selecting to do a research titled: “Harnessing repetitive behaviours to engage attention and learning in a novel therapy for autism: an exploratory analysis.” 


https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00012















 

Office Hourse

Mon - Fri: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sat: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sun: Closed

 
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