Underscoring the importance of scientifically defensible communication interventions and citing shared concern about harm that could stem from baseless practices, the Board of Directors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has unanimously approved position statements that discourage the use of Facilitated Communication (FC), the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM), and similar practices such as Spelling to Communicate—techniques where “facilitators” ostensibly elicit communication from individuals with disabilities.
These position statements strongly encourage the use of effective augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. The statements do not apply to independent typing.
ASHA first cautioned against the use of FC in 1995. Since then, multiple systematic reviews—the highest level of scientific evidence—have continued to show that the “facilitator” is doing the communicating. ASHA’s position statement says that RPM is not recommended because of prompt dependency and lack of scientific validity.
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