RPM is a method that empowers a student with the means to express his/her learning, understanding, reasoning and thoughts.
The teacher learns how to access the open learning channels (auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic) of the student and adapts the way the lessons are presented accordingly.
RPM is an academic-based method in which the teacher tries to create a "teacher-student response loop."
The teacher states information, then asks a question, and then the student responds. This loop is intended to create an alertness and improved focus in the student. He/she begins to expect his/her role (e.g., "I will respond immediately after the teacher finishes a statement and then asks a question").
The rhythm created by this loop is aimed to overpower the student’s other engagements, such as stims, OCD, and impulses.
This type of method requires the teacher to be ready with a well-prepared lesson.
The lesson is the teacher's tool. Through RPM lessons, the teacher presents information and questions designed to work on the four RPM objectives.
The four objectives worked on in every RPM session are:
Cognitive - The teacher will teach an academic topic depending on the student’s age, exposure to learning, interest, or preoccupation. The teacher uses this topic to work on the student's ability to express reasoning and understanding.
Skill - Based on the motor, sensory and emotional readiness of the student, the teacher will ask the student to respond by selecting between correct and incorrect choices, or spelling on either the large letter stencils, full letter stencil, full letter board, keyboard/device, handwriting, or speech. All of the aforementioned are different skill goals that can be developed through RPM.
Tolerance- Every student has different levels of visual, auditory, tactile, performance and time tolerance. Initially, the teacher adapts to the student’s sensory and performance tolerances. Over time, the teacher slowly works on helping the student increase their level of tolerance in all of these fields.
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.
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 and letterboards, independent use of devices, and handwriting as well as purposeful speech. Here is a short video showing the diversity of RPM: