Views of Facilitated Communication What's the Point? Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   October 01, 1999
Views of Facilitated Communication
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Judith F. Duchan
    State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: duchan@acsu.buffalo.edu
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Clinical Forum   |   October 01, 1999
Views of Facilitated Communication
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1999, Vol. 30, 401-407. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3004.401
History: Received November 20, 1998 , Accepted June 30, 1999
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1999, Vol. 30, 401-407. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3004.401
History: Received November 20, 1998; Accepted June 30, 1999

Facilitated communication (FC) has generated considerable debate, with the main concern being whether the facilitators (often speech-language pathologists) are physically influencing what is being expressed by the communicator. FC has placed speech-language pathologists in an ethical bind, having to weigh the risks of denying their client the right to effective and efficient communication against the risk of using an approach that has not held up under the rigors of controlled scientific studies. The dilemma is further complicated by the different ways FC has been described. Those who describe it in social participation terms are more positive concerning its potential than those who see it in terms of information processing. In this article, views of FC are outlined. A way out of the dilemma is suggested through the development of clinical practice guidelines. Such guidelines should include protections of both clients and clinicians and should be built on both social participation and information processing views of FC.

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