An Examination of the Role of the Facilitator in “Facilitated Communication”1 Facilitated communication (FC) is an expressive communication strategy that involves the selection of targets on a letter display or keyboard by an individual who receives some physical support, typically from another person (known as the facilitator). Because physical assistance is needed for communication to occur, the question has arisen as ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   September 01, 1994
An Examination of the Role of the Facilitator in “Facilitated Communication”1 
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Howard C. Shane, PhD
    Communication Enhancement Center, Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02132
  • Kevin Kearns
    Northeastern University, Boston, MA
  • D. Jeffery Higginbotham served as the Associate Editor for the review of this article.
    D. Jeffery Higginbotham served as the Associate Editor for the review of this article.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   September 01, 1994
An Examination of the Role of the Facilitator in “Facilitated Communication”1 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1994, Vol. 3, 48-54. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0303.48
History: Received January 8, 1993 , Accepted March 15, 1994
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1994, Vol. 3, 48-54. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0303.48
History: Received January 8, 1993; Accepted March 15, 1994

Facilitated communication (FC) is an expressive communication strategy that involves the selection of targets on a letter display or keyboard by an individual who receives some physical support, typically from another person (known as the facilitator). Because physical assistance is needed for communication to occur, the question has arisen as to whether the facilitator or the individual who is facilitated is responsible for authoring messages. This investigation was initiated to determine whether messages expressed via FC by a 38-year-old man who was nonspeaking and mentally retarded were produced by this individual or by his facilitator. In order to investigate the source of communication, three procedures were designed, two of a visual and one of an auditory nature. Results revealed that the source of the communication in this context was, without exception, the facilitator. These findings suggest the importance of determining the source of communication expressed through facilitated communication.

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