Issues in Facilitated Communication: A Response to Silliman (1995) Silliman (1995) included a number of misleading statements and erroneous conclusions regarding our study on facilitated communication (Wheeler, Jacobson, Paglieri, & Schwartz, 1993). In the same issue of JSHR in which Silliman’s letter appeared were others: one by Fried-Oken, Paul, and Fay (1995) and another by Yoder (1995). We ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   February 01, 1996
Issues in Facilitated Communication: A Response to Silliman (1995)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Douglas L. Wheeler
    Autism Program O.D. Heck Developmental Center Balltown & Consaul Roads Schenectady, NY 12304
  • John W. Jacobson
    Planning Bureau Office of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities 44 Holland Avenue Albany, NY 12229-0001
  • Allen A. Schwartz
    Service Design Bureau Office of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities 44 Holland Avenue Albany, NY 12229-0001
  • Raymond A. Paglieri
    New York State Autism Program O.D. Heck Developmental Center Balltown & Consaul Roads Schenectady, NY 12304
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   February 01, 1996
Issues in Facilitated Communication: A Response to Silliman (1995)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1996, Vol. 39, 217-219. doi:10.1044/jshr.3901.217
History: Received March 17, 1995 , Accepted May 12, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1996, Vol. 39, 217-219. doi:10.1044/jshr.3901.217
History: Received March 17, 1995; Accepted May 12, 1995
Silliman (1995) included a number of misleading statements and erroneous conclusions regarding our study on facilitated communication (Wheeler, Jacobson, Paglieri, & Schwartz, 1993). In the same issue of JSHR in which Silliman’s letter appeared were others: one by Fried-Oken, Paul, and Fay (1995) and another by Yoder (1995). We would like to thank these latter writers for the directness and clarity of their comments on the facilitated communication (FC) phenomenon. With respect to the Silliman letter, we wish to respond in order to the three concerns she raised.
1. Silliman states that she has a concern with the “criteria for participant selection.” Very simply, individuals from the Autism Program were chosen for FC involvement by the facilitators as directed by their training at Syracuse University. Study participants were subsequently selected on the basis of their apparent “success” with FC. Selection of these individuals was clearly consistent with guidelines set forth in Biklen (1991, 1992) and Biklen and Schubert (1991). To quote directly from our study, “Participants were selected from among the 48 people in the program on the basis of individual achievement of an apparent level of success with facilitated communication (e.g.), reliably typing at least whole single words during facilitated communication). Nine of the 12 participants were reported or observed to regularly type out full sentences …” (Wheeler et al. 1993, p. 50). We are quite confident that our selection for general FC involvement as well as for inclusion in the study reflects common practice throughout the country up through the present time. Also, it should be emphasized that students selected for the study were considered to be the best performers (FC-based) in the program and in whom facilitators had the most confidence. The sample was intentionally biased towards obtaining success with FC.
First Page Preview
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview ×
View Large
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access