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The Advent of Facilitated Communication & Unusual Literacy The day my whole life turned upside down.

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Presentation on theme: "The Advent of Facilitated Communication & Unusual Literacy The day my whole life turned upside down."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Advent of Facilitated Communication & Unusual Literacy The day my whole life turned upside down

2 The Facilitated Communication (FC) Controversy Doug Biklen (Syracuse Univ.) trip to Australia where he observes FC technique with Rosemary Crossley Biklen, D. (1990). Communication unbound: Autism and praxis. Harvard Educational Review, 60, (3), pp

3 The advent of Facilitated Communication: claims made Method of communication Spelling on keyboard assisted by a second person (facilitator) Surprising literacy

4 The advent of Facilitated Communication: widespread objections Unfounded: claims made that under closer experimental scrutiny the phenomenon does not hold up Alleged speakers could not have taught themselves to read and write Putting words into disabled persons mouth The whole thing is a hoax

5 Sunday Standard-Times, New Bedford, MA, February 16, 1992 / Page A15 _______________________________________________________________________________________ Experimental technique may help autistic communicate By Robert Lovinger Standard-Times staff writer smiling Ms. Roderiques said. (AJSLP), Stephen Calculator of the One theory is that of incidentalUniversity of New Hampshire learning. It suggests that eventhought it strange that no one knows retarded adults who never hadwhy facilitation works and that all formal schooling have been studies "lack a theoretical basis." Exposed to the written word on Michael Weiss, a clinical television and in newspapers and psychologist who has worked with Magazines, and have been developmentally disabled children in Absorbing it all along RichardNew Bedford, is also concerned. McNally, Margaret McNally's "There's a rich tradition in how we Father, is the founder and judge whether something is true.... Executive director of HarborIt gets reviewed by peers and has to Services. "Meg used to take thepass a certain standard, he said. newspaper to bed. We thought sheWhat Im unnerved about with the liked the crinkle," he said, shrug-facilitated communication people is ging. "We've always thought thatthat theres almost a refusal to reading is a complex cognitive skill.adhere to this standard. Maybe it's not," Ms. Roderiquez Asked why he things Dr. Biklen Said. "Or maybe they learn to read and company wont do such studies, somehow differently than we do."Dr. Weiss replied, What rings true But why wouldn't someone havein my ears is that the thing is a stumbled onto this technique a longbloody hoax. time ago? Supporters say perhapsTo say its the child thats the knowledge that these people communicating is quite a stretch, couldn't perform the simplestfrom what Ive been told by people


7 Rimland & Green report through August,1993 Summary Total F/C confirmedF/C Failed Studies (35) 6 29 Subjects (285)11274

8 Rimland & Green report through August,1993 Summary Studies (35) 6/35 = 17% Subjects (285)11/285 = 3.8%

9 Kennys Developmental status prior to/after use of FC Stanford-Binet (10- years old) – IQ = 31 Age Equiv: 3-years Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (11-years, 4-mth): Comm. 2-y, 3-m ADL 2-y, 2-m Social. 2-y, 2-m Expressive Language Inventory (total functional language): help me, coke, coat on, truck, bus, soup, daddy, no, headphones

10 Jim and Tom are brothers. Jim wanted a B-B gun, but his parents said, absolutely no, B-B guns are dangerous. Jim did not listen to his parents. One day after school Jim traded his baseball card collection for his best friends B-B gun. Jim snuck the gun home and showed it to his brother. While the two brothers were playing with the gun Tom accidentally pulled the trigger and broke the window. The boys mother heard the noise and went into the boys room. Should Tom tell on his brother for buying the gun? (T. Sebastian 11/23/93).

11 Exper:Who was in the story? Kenny:MO¢THER E:Who else? K:T¢WO BROITHERS E:What are their names? K:BOB JIM E:Somebody wanted something real bad in the story. What did they want? K:A BEBE GGUN E:How did they get the thing they wanted in the story? K:TRADED BAASEBALL CARDS E:Lets for a moment assume that the kid wanted a B-B Gun and traded baseball cards for it. What did they do with the B-B Gun? K:SHOT T IN TH#E HOUSE E:What happened when they shot the B-B Gun in the house, then what happened? K:BROKE A WINDOOW MOTHER WAS MAD

12 Validated cases reported after 1993 Authors# Confirmed Olney (1996) 4 Sheehan & Matuozzi (1996) 3 Biklen (1996) 2 Marcus & Sheven (1996) 1 Weiss, Wagner & Bauman (1996) 1 Weiss & Wagner (1997) 1 Total Confirmed: 12 Total confirmed with Rimland & Green (11):23

13 Cardinal, Hanson & Wakeham (1996) Large sample Many practice test trials Single word identification (5 per session) Words drawn from set of 100 (chance.01) 32 children showed greater than chance responses during final test session Total confirmed through 1996: 55

14 Rejection of the phenomenon Institutional rejection: –American Speech-Language-Hearing Association position paper –…not recognized as a valid method… Accusations of sexual abuse –Ground-swell of litigation Impact of the media: –Massachusetts Dept of Mental Retardation issued a statement rejecting the use of FC the Monday after the Sunday-night 60-minutes episode

15 FC users who became independent communicators Sue Rubin Tito Mukhopadhyay Amanda Baggs – In My Language

16 But the lingering question for those individuals who proved to be validated.… Why did this work?? Why the need for the facilitator?? If the person could communicate with the facilitator, why couldnt they do it alone??

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