shared by Tero Toivanen on 27 Jun 11 - No Cached
"With a facilitator guiding her arm, the child who had never been taught to read was suddenly writing poetry and English essays, taking history exams and doing algebra. The middle-schooler who couldn't put on her coat without help was typing about her plans to become a college professor,"
But the technique, in which the aide's hand is supposedly guided by the child to type what she wants to say, has been proved ineffective. It has been shown to rely on the aide's projections rather than to reflect the child's thoughts. Although some autistic children can learn to communicate genuinely via a keyboard with only initial guidance, facilitated communication, in which an aide always does the typing has repeatedly failed to demonstrate that the words are written or thought by the child. For example, when the facilitator is not allowed to hear the questions being asked of the child, the resulting answers are wrong or nonsensical.
When the Wendrow's daughter's aide typed allegations of sexual abuse against the girl's father and brother — and claimed that the child's mother had been ignoring her complaints — a prosecution of the family was set into motion that became nearly unstoppable. The aide refused to believe she was not typing her own ideas, even though the child was clearly not capable of the complex language being attributed to her. Once prosecutors and the aide became convinced of the truth of the allegations, even overwhelming evidence of their falsehood was ignored.