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Tero Toivanen

NeuroLogica Blog » Facilitated Communication Persists Despite Scientific Crit... - 0 views

  • Facilitated Communication (FC) is a technique for allegedly aiding those with communication impairment, such as some people with autism, to communicate through typing or pointing at a letter board. The idea is that some children have greater cognitive ability than is apparent through their verbal skills, but they lack the motor skills to type or write. The facilitator in FC is trained to hold and support their client’s hand, to help stabilize it, so that they can type out their thoughts.
  • FC was enthusiastically embraced by the special education community in the late 1980s and early 1990s but problems quickly emerged, namely the question of authorship – who is doing the communicating, the client or the facilitator?
  • The scientific evidence came down clearly on one side of that debate – it is the facilitator who is the author of the communication, not the client.
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  • A 2001 review by Mostert came to the same conclusion – that the evidence supports the conclusion that the facilitators are the authors of communication in FC.
  • The strategy here is obvious – studies that directly and objectively confront the key question, who is authoring the writing in FC, gave an answer proponents did not like. They therefore shifted to indirect inference which is more amenable to judgement and qualitative analysis so that the desired results can be manufactured.
  • FC continues to exist on the fringe of legitimate science, but continues to fool journalists, patient advocates, and even physicians.
  • It is sad that FC continues to survive despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that it is not a legitimate method of communication, but rather an elaborate exercise in self-deception.  It is a useful example of how powerful and subtle self-deception can be, and also of the ways in which scientific evidence can be manipulated to generate a desired outcome.
Tero Toivanen

Facilitated_Communication_Prisoners_of_Silence.mov - 2 views

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    Really interesting video about Facilitated Communication. I think all teachers who are working with Autistic Spectrum Disorders should watch it.
Tero Toivanen

Facilitated Communication - Association for Science in Autism Treatment - 1 views

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     "Research evidence, replicated across several hundred children with autism spectrum disorders, shows that the facilitators rather than the individuals with autism spectrum disorders control the communication and that FC does not improve language skills (Mostert, 2001). Therefore, FC is an inappropriate intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders."
Tero Toivanen

Communication and Autism - Myths, Truths, Resources - 3 views

  • Communication techniques such as Facilitated Communication and Rapid Prompting are highly controversial, and may be more illusion than reality.  Anyone interested in these approaches, which require constant or intermittent physical contact with the autistic person, should look deeply and carefully into the methods before plunking down cash.  Consider, instead, augmentative technologies for communication, ranging from keyboards and sophisticated digital technologies to sign language or picture cards.
Tero Toivanen

Proloquo2Go iPad Software Gives Voice to the Autistic - ABC News - 1 views

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    This is just fantastic for people with autism spectrum diagnosis!
Tero Toivanen

Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment - Dove Press - 0 views

  • These results suggest that nonverbal children have specifically impaired imitation and pointing skills.
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    This study evaluates the correlation between failure to develop spontaneous imitation and language skills in pervasive developmental disorders.
Tero Toivanen

Autism Research Blog: Translating Autism: Expressive communication in children with sev... - 0 views

  • Given that the rate of elicited expressive communication in the present study is much lower than the suggested rate of teacher prompt, it can be assumed that teachers of students with autism do not actively promote their students’ expressive communication.
  • The results also indicate that verbal prompts and a combination of verbal prompts and modeling were the most commonly used instruction. However, simple (non-combined) prompts were most effective in eliciting a communicative response with kids with the most severe autism. But most surprisingly, physical prompts did not seem to be as effective as verbal prompts, which may also explain why verbal prompts were use significantly more by these teachers.
  • In sum, the study has implications for the type of techniques that are effective in eliciting communicative responses in children with severe autism. In this study simple verbal prompts and modeling were the most effective strategy to elicit communicative responses in these children.

    Chiang, H. (2009). Naturalistic observations of elicited expressive communication of children with autism: An analysis of teacher instructions Autism, 13 (2), 165-178 DOI: 10.1177/1362361308098513

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    In sum, the study has implications for the type of techniques that are effective in eliciting communicative responses in children with severe autism. In this study simple verbal prompts and modeling were the most effective strategy to elicit communicative responses in these children.
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