Validity of Facilitated Communication Intervention: Response to Duchan I am writing to respond to some of the proposed areas of research that Duchan (1993) set forth in the December 1993 issue of JSHR. I am aware of the risk that Judy Duchan has taken by outlining her emerging theory of autism and proposed program of research. I ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   February 01, 1995
Validity of Facilitated Communication Intervention: Response to Duchan
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul J. Yoder
    Vanderbilt University Peabody Box 328 Nashville, TN 37203
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   February 01, 1995
Validity of Facilitated Communication Intervention: Response to Duchan
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1995, Vol. 38, 202-204. doi:10.1044/jshr.3801.202
History: Received January 11, 1994 , Accepted May 13, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1995, Vol. 38, 202-204. doi:10.1044/jshr.3801.202
History: Received January 11, 1994; Accepted May 13, 1994
I am writing to respond to some of the proposed areas of research that Duchan (1993) set forth in the December 1993 issue of JSHR. I am aware of the risk that Judy Duchan has taken by outlining her emerging theory of autism and proposed program of research. I am respectful of her courage and do not doubt her personal integrity. However, I think that several of her suggestions, if taken to heart, will mislead the field.
Admittedly, I am a skeptic about the validity of facilitated communication (FC) as an intervention. In a recent review (Green, in press), only 4 of the 25 controlled studies reviewed included subjects who communicated even one message that could not be explained by facilitator influence or pre-FC abilities. Several of these responses were very simple and short (e.g., identifying single numerals) and occurred on only a small proportion of the total number of opportunities (Green, in press). These few FC messages could have been facilitated via physical prompting, a teaching technique with a long history that is much simpler in its theory and application than FC.
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