Hand Over Hand Prompting for Children With Disabilities

Female teacher and schoolboy (6-7) in classroom
Female teacher and schoolboy (6-7) in classroom. Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Prompting is an important tool in teaching children with disabilities, especially children with disabilities that significantly effect their ability to learn functional or life skills. Prompting happens across a continuum, from the most invasive, physical prompts, to the least invasive, gestural prompts.

Hand over hand prompting is the most invasive of all prompting strategies. It can often involve actually doing the activity with the student.

The person teaching the skill places his hand over the hand of the student, and may actually manipulate the hand of the child. Hand over hand prompting may help a young child learn how to manipulate a pair of scissor, either regular student scissors or special spring scissors.

The goal of the teacher/practitioner is to begin to fade the hand over hand prompt, perhaps pairing it with a verbal prompt as the physical prompt is faded. Sometimes the hand over prompt can be faded to a less invasive prompt, such as a finger tap on the back of child's hand, to remind them of the hand formation.

Also Known As Full physical prompt

Examples: Emily, a six-year-old with multiple disabilities, requires a very high level of support to learn life skills. Her aide, Ms. Ramona, places her hand over Emily's to provide hand over hand support as she learns to brush her teeth. Ms. Ramona shapes Emily's hand into a brush grip and then holds that grip as she moves the brush back and forth in her mouth.

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Your Citation
Webster, Jerry. "Hand Over Hand Prompting for Children With Disabilities." ThoughtCo, Apr. 29, 2017, thoughtco.com/hand-over-hand-prompting-3110838. Webster, Jerry. (2017, April 29). Hand Over Hand Prompting for Children With Disabilities. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hand-over-hand-prompting-3110838 Webster, Jerry. "Hand Over Hand Prompting for Children With Disabilities." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hand-over-hand-prompting-3110838 (accessed March 21, 2018).