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Learning Approaches - Facilitated Communication

Facilitated Communication (FC) was developed in the 1970s in Australia. It is based on the idea that the person is unable to communicate because of a movement disorder, not because of a lack of communication skills. FC involves a facilitator who, by supporting an individual's hand or arm, helps the person communicate through the use of a computer or typewriter. It has not been scientifically validated; critics claim that the communication may be influenced by the thoughts of the facilitator. FC is very controversial and some have adopted formal positions opposing the acceptance of FC. As with any treatment you consider do your research and learn the pros and cons, find out how practitioners are trained and considered competent to administer the treatment, weigh the benefits and risks (including time and cost) for the family and the individual on the spectrum, consult with trusted professionals, and talk to others who have used the treatment approach.


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Jeff, Age 35