RPM Learning Resources

This is an extract from the Learning Resources File of the Unlocking Voices- Using RPM Facebook group

www.halo-soma.org = Soma’s website – lots of information/videos/FAQ’s on this website.

Demonstration videos by Alex Hopwood and Sue Finnes  (NB. these videos do NOT replace the need to buy and study Soma’s books!)

1. How to do written paper choices – basic principles


  1. How to spell responses on large stencils


  1. Preparing an RPM session from a book – for beginners


  1. What if my child just copies my written words:


  1. How to prompt. Verbal and air prompts. When and how to motor model


6 .What do we mean by skill goals? examples


  1. How to identify and work on skill goals


  1. Prompting – when and how to reduce


  1. How to be flexible with RPM topic if student has other interest


  1. How to make lessons interesting


  1. How to work with a child who moves around a lot


  1. Letterboard issues :Stabbing /slipping/wandering/light touches


  1. How to get your sessions ‘moving’ from the start


  1. Personalising lessons to different students




Soma’s books are essential reading if you are learning RPM. You can begin with either the red or green – but you will probably want to eventually buy them all. They are available from www.halo-soma.org or from amazon (if in UK you will save on postage if you use amazon.co.uk)

    • Red Book:  Understanding Autism Through Rapid Prompting Method . This is Soma’s first book – the first half of it explains the background thinking behind RPM – the why’s and the neuroscience, and the second half is about how to begin.
    • Orange Book: Curriculum Guide Using Rapid Prompting Method: With Lesson Plan Suggestions . Soma’s second book with specific examples of how to use RPM to teach Mathematics, English, Social science and Science
    • Green Book: Developing Communication for Autism Using Rapid Prompting Method: Guide For Effective Language. Soma’s third book -this is a ‘how to’ book – there is a recap of the key points from the red book and lots of practical examples showing how to get started and how to use RPM sessions to stimulate communication -thoughts, learning, opinions and reasoning.
    • Blue Book:  Developing Motor Skills for Autism using Rapid Prompting Method Soma’s fourth book about the mind/body disconnect and how to teach motor skills- not just on the letterboards but for other activities.
    • Grey Book : Harnessing Stims and Behaviours in Autism using Rapid Prompting Method. Soma’s fifth book – packed with practical ways of working with students who have stims or behaviours which can affect the learning process. It also gives lesson plans on eg . anger, happiness. Even if your child doesn’t not present these challenges this book is really useful as it gives lots of ideas for lesson plans and how to adapt them to different aged students.eg P156 lesson on ‘Hands’ – young student key points = body part, number /names of fingers, etc, older student key points modified to include correct terminology: sides dorsal/ventral, dominant organ for voluntary touch, twenty seven bones, fingerprints etc.
  • Gold Book : Developing Expressive Language in Verbal Students with Autism using Rapid Prompting Method. This book is intended to help people who are using RPM with verbal students – who may have some functional language but lack discussive/expressive language. NB This book does not give a detailed description of the stages of RPM – it is expected that reader will have studied either the red or green book first. Here Soma talks about this book https://youtu.be/EYNAUFJM-e0


Attitude/belief is a key factor in how successful you are using RPM with your child – understanding that your child is intelligent but is unable to show that intelligence in the traditional ways is crucial. Reading books written by other non-verbal autistic people will help you to understand this. These books are all available on amazon.

  • Ido in Autismland by Ido Kedar –highly recommend this book for parents, family, friends, teachers. Ido explains the challenges he faces in a very readable, easy to understand way and describes how his body does not always obey his brain. He learnt RPM and now uses an Ipad – he attends a mainstream school. This is essential reading if you are going to start RPM.


  • Tito Mukhopadhyay  (Soma’s son) has written many books which help us to understand how his mind works. They are available on www.halo-soma.org and amazon. We particularly recommend How Can I Talk if My Lips Don’t Move.


  • A Mother’s Courage – talking back to autism. Follows the story of Keli aged 10 ½ who is taken to see Soma at HALO – you see short clips of her working with him and with some other children. (available on amazon)



These are all people who use RPM:-

Tito Mukhopadhyay   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfiap3a7Tuo (clip from when he was younger) http://www.unlockingvoices.com/videos-somatito/ (clip from 2014)

Ido Kedarhttps://www.facebook.com/IdoInAutismland  www.idoinautismland.com ( look out for the post called motor difficulties in severe autism – great for copying and giving to professionals)

Excellent article :http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-c1-autismland-20131222-dto,0,3969110,print.htmlstory

Christopher Finnes – Sue, Christopher’s mum, set up the Unlocking Voices Facebook group and is a director of Unlocking Voices CIC in the UK. She shares lots of public clips of Christopher’s RPM sessions on her you tube channel –suefinnes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMtrorkbUiDMIwvY2-W5GhQ

Some short clips of Chris which may be useful to show to teachers– ‘Treat us with respect for our intelligence’

https://youtu.be/9zbydCc_iH4   https://youtu.be/L5NTKs-ihTc   https://youtu.be/TXRs5xqrBE0

Susie Lotharius – News feature – great feature showing two children from Atlanta using RPM http://www.11alive.com/story/news/2015/08/07/simple-tool-helping-kids–autism-communicate/31214179/

Philip Castello Reyes – Philip’s mum, Lisa is very active on our Unlocking Voices Facebook group and shares lots of info/videos etc.http://faithhopeloveautism.blogspot.com https://www.facebook.com/faithhopeloveautism

Emma Zurcher – Emma’s mum is active on the Unlocking Voices group and shares lots of info on her website/blogs http://emmashopebook.com https://www.facebook.com/EmmasHopeBook

Bella Mar – Bec started RPM with Bella in 2013 and has made tremendous progress.Here is one of her first tries at RPM (Oct 13) when she had had no training and was just ‘having a go’. This is followed by a recent clip so you can see the progress. https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkRoaMQI3LB0&h=jAQGLcFDs

Bec was struggling and getting frustrated – she had emailed me asking for some suggestions about what to do – she said her daughter (Bella) was deliberately choosing the wrong answers – so I asked her to film it.  You will notice a few things :-  Bec does not have a lesson plan prepared -it is not clear what the objectives are. The topic/content is too basic ( a mistake that many people make is thinking that we need to start with something familiar/easy). Bella does mostly choose the incorrect answer – she does know ‘how to choose’ so needs to be shown ‘what to choose’ (ie. the correct answer). In this example I am inclined to agree with Bec in thinking that Bella was probably deliberately choosing the wrong answer – because the content was too basic. Bec remains calm and carries on despite this.  It would be very easy to make the assumption that Bella doesn’t understand but that would be totally wrong. Once Bec started to teach more stimulating topics and worked on improving her own technique Bella made very rapid progress – she is now able to independently express her thoughts using a keyboard (second clip) . So the learning points are – keep trying and learning- if things aren’t working it’s probably your skills which need developing. Keep going back to Soma’s books you’ll find more information each time which will help you. If possible book to see an experienced provider so they can show you how to work effectively with your child. (Bec was able to get an observer place at a Soma workshop and used this to learn more about how to present sessions). Bella’s facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Bellas.Walk?fref=ts