Facilitated Communication Biklen Responds Second Opinion
Second Opinion  |   January 01, 1992
Facilitated Communication
 
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Second Opinions
Second Opinion   |   January 01, 1992
Facilitated Communication
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1992, Vol. 1, 21-22. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0102.21
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, January 1992, Vol. 1, 21-22. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0102.21
On some important points, I agree with Calculator—that people with disabilities should not be denied respect or the presumption of competence and that facilitated communication incorporates a number of practices that have long been used in the field. But on certain other key points, I disagree.
Calculator has suggested that, in relation to “spiritual underpinnings,” people with autism cannot change unless convinced that they are perceived as intelligent and worthy of expression. This claim does not accurately represent what I reported in my article, “Communication Unbound” (Biklen, 1990).
What I actually proposed was a conjecture/hypothesis: “Perhaps … the students … demand an education–through–dialogue approach … where schooling validates personal expression” (Biklen, 1990, p. 313). Further, I stated, “It is as if this group of people, labeled autistic, by not communicating except with certain facilitators and in certain, supportive circumstances, is saying what all students at one time or another have said, if less obviously: ‘We will reveal ourselves, we will show our creativity, when we feel appreciated, when we are supported’” (p. 313). What is spiritual about this? The supportive relationship of teacher and student has been discussed and studied in the education literature for decades.
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