Facilitated Communicaton has once again caused a legal nightmare for innocent parents.

Seriously? Didn’t this die in the 90s? Everyone doesn’t know about this nonsense by now? This time it was in Prince Edward Island in Canada.

You’d think that an organization like the RCMP would know better.

How many fucking lives does FC have to ruin before it is banned from every campus?

There should be an anti-vax for it.

They were trashing this fc stuff on episodes of Law & Order, how much of a clue do you need?

FC is already banned completely from special-needs schools in Sweden - you’d think other countries would get the fucking message sooner or later.

More than it already has, apparently.


This was published in 2015. :frowning:

There are some assisted communication methods that do work for some people with autism or severe brain damage. However, FC as people are discussing it here (an assistant holds the person’s hand and presses buttons) has been debunked - many years ago. I remember seeing a “Frontline” special about it in the 1990s.

You probably saw this: FRONTLINE: Prisoners of Silence [Full] - YouTube

I’m skeptical about assisted communication methods. Do you have any cites?

Stephen Hawking comes to mind. He uses a computer assisted communication system. Hugely different from facilitated communication which relies on a human to interpret.

Of course but that’s not what nearwildheaven seemed to be talking about. You’re talking apples and oranges.

No, it’s worse. We’re talking apples and Stephen Hawking.

New old saying:

"That’s like comparing apples and oranges… and Stephen F’ing Hawking, Dude!"

Leaving aside completely the question of whether facilitated communication is any more reliable than a Ouija board, what in the world makes them think that someone with the intellectual ability of a two year old can spell out words and sentences?

Best damn tech report on FC I’ve ever read.

They think that fc shows that they in fact have greater intellectual ability than previously believed. They’re wrong of course, but that’s the belief, and even with all of the evidence to the contrary many still cling to it, I think mostly for emotional reasons.

While there are likely a few charlatans, most are probably good well meaning people who are clinging to something that’s repeatedly caused enormous turmoil in people’s lives while achieving nothing good beyond a few feel good moments.

Such is the human condition, and such is why we should fight for reason over emotion.

Don’t mean to hijack, but in other news of long ago debunked bullshit still rearing its ugly head, after the recent bombing in Iraq, PM Abadi finally ordered police to stop using the fake, dousing-based bomb detectors that were widely debunked and mocked FIVE YEARS AGO.

Ever seen the movie “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”? Jean-Dominique Bauby dictated the book that inspired the movie one letter at a time, using a glass letter board. This is the kind of “assisted communication” I’m talking about. It’s similar to Stephen Hawking’s voice synthesizer, in that it’s eye-powered, but another person has to be there to figure out which letter the person is looking at.

Here’s discussion of another case of FC involving an autistic boy who also wasn’t looking at the keyboard, but must’ve had, like, really really good peripheral vision.

*"…in many cases it was apparent that the client of FC was not paying attention to the keyboard or letter board. It is impossible to one-finger type without looking at the keyboard (or without feeling where your hand is on the keyboard) but that is what many FC clients appeared to be doing.

It was suspected that perhaps the facilitators were unconsciously doing the communicating. This can be explained very easily with the ideomotor effect – subconscious motor movements that can be caused simply by expectation…
FC has died as a mainstream practice, but like all such practices it remains on the fringe. I am now seeing what appears to be a new generation of FC proponents, as awareness of FC has waned. Younger health care providers are not as aware of the FC story and so are not as immediately critical of it as they should be. The allure of FC is probably just too compelling for it to quietly go away, and every generation will likely have to debunk it anew."*

Facilitated Communication is complete woo.

From the link in the OP (bolding mine):

Finally, on June 10, 2015, clinical psychologist Dr. Adrienne Perry - an expert on autism and developmental disabilities at York University in Toronto - conducted a series of tests to determine the woman’s abilities.
Images from a videotaped, 90-minute session clearly show how the woman rarely looked at her alphabet board when pointing to the letters. Perry estimated her eyes were focused elsewhere 90 per cent of the time.

More importantly, the psychologist found facilitator Jennifer Hendricken couldn’t help the woman answer the simplest of questions, unless Hendricken already knew the answers.

At one point, the woman was shown a small figurine – a pink pony – while Hendricken was out of the room. When Hendricken returned, the woman was asked to use FC to describe what she had seen.
The first facilitated answer was: “I seen a picture of a ball.” Asked again, the answer was: “A picture of a kid.” After Hendricken was told it was actually a pony, the woman was asked to describe its colour. The facilitated answer? “Black.”
Other tests produced similar results.

I’m surprised anyone ever gave it the time of day. I didn’t know what it was until this thread, and with one look at how it works I went “… so it’s a Ouija board”. Ouija boards are susceptible to the exact same effect where expectation governs what letters show up, and in this case one party is significantly less able (if able at all) to control the direction. It’s basically just using a severely handicapped person’s hand as a makeshift, unintentional planchette.