Saturday, 6 February 2016

Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) hitting New Zealand Shores

I am Autistic, I can not always talk. For so long I've been focusing on getting me to talk correctly and accurately in all situations. I received Speech Language Therapy as a child, that did not help me, as obviously I still find it hard to talk.

I have challenging behaviours and meltdowns so severe that I head bang and self bite, all due to not having functional speech and not being in control of my body.

Yes I do Biomedical interventions, the whole holistic approach, yes I've improved that I can  socially fit in to a degree and I have more clarity but speech, communication and being in control of my body still remains to be a big issue today.

Because I've experienced so much stress due to lack of support, lack of people believing in me. I have developed Catatonia in the context of Autism, (this affects my movement abilities, and also my ability to move my mouth in order to speak, to produce sounds), this made me shift my attention towards finding a way to communicate to people that simply my motor skills are stuck but I know exactly what I need to do to produce a movement but there is disruption a long the way, therefore leaving me not in control, and providers classing it as abuse if I push a support worker away due to no functional speech or my me simply not being in control of my movements especially in the mornings when my brain is still waking up. I know pushing I shouldn't do but I'm not in control, my body is punishing me because I get in trouble.

A few years ago I came across a DVD called The Sunshine Boy, all about RPM and Autism and communication, but I did not make the connection then, that this is exactly what I needed, due to the boy being completely non-verbal. I wasn't completely non-verbal, I was partially verbal, a part time AAC user but I could never understand why my brain still could not co-operate my arms, hands to type to have a conversation on my device, even though I could type for my assignments, my uni work, Facebook, emails. Or I could not understand why my mouth said a completely different word to what I wanted to say.

When a behaviour specialist started to massage my hands, arms and move my arms to the device to type last year, or moved my hands to choose a visual picture for my visual aide timetable, that is when I realised:


I am not in control of my body, I need a way to show my feelings, to show I understand more then people think. I am in here. 

When two parents in Auckland starting discussing RPM, I decided to re look at the documentary I have, and suddenly I realised that even my peers with complete non-verbal Autism, show the exact same mind body disconnect. 

So I thought, stuff getting me to talk clearly, I need to communicate effectively now. I now try to incorporate RPM into my support workers supporting me, if I could I would pay for all of them to have the official training. I have one really good support worker that uses elements of RPM without even knowing about it. 

Auckland has a RPM support group once a month. 
If you want to know more about RPM or the support group, email me. 
If you are a professional in NZ wanting to know more email me. 
If you a university staff member that believes in abilities in everyone, email me.


  1. Hi, I am in need to know more about the RPM support group.

    1. Hi Ryan

      Lovely to hear from you.

      For more about RPM support group in new zealand

      please email

      Annette and Andrea who are parents to autistic children run it.

      Also on Facebook they have Kiwi Kids So much to say group.

      I look forward to hearing back.

      Kinds Regards
      Gabby Hogg
      Autistic self advocate
      Autismo Girl