Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Battle Over a Controversial Method for Autism Communication

A technique that claims to help people with the condition express themselves with the help of a "facilitator" was scientifically disproven in the '90s—so why hasn't it disappeared?

Facilitated communication—often referred to as FC in the media and in scientific literature—bills itself as a way to allow individuals with autism, intellectual disability, or a condition like cerebral palsy to communicate by means of a “facilitator.” Facilitators provide pressure to the hand, wrist, or arm, guiding the individual to letters, words, or pictures—typically on a keyboard, smartphone, or tablet. Whereas a prompt is an accepted educational technique to initiate an action (as distinct from “hand-over-hand,” which is used to teach the action itself outside an attempt to communicate), facilitation is typically provided throughout the communication process.

Read more here.