Talk:Facilitated communication

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This Parapsychology related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.



I've often wanted to ask RSchlafly who does his typing for him. ~~ CЯacke® 23:48, 7 July 2007 (CDT)

Y'know, as silly as some of his ideas are, I think he may be the brightest CP sysop. He's disagreed with some of Andy's silly mathematical ideas (see their conversation on the Axiom of Choice), and his patents are actually for clever unobvious solutions to real problems. --jtltalk 00:07, 8 July 2007 (CDT)
Bright? Like Venus at 3am, yeah, I'll give you that. Full moon bright would be pushing it.
I mean, the man has spent three solid months arguing against having Isaac Newton's page star out as "Sir Isaac Newton". A bit to obsessive for mine tastes.
To be fair when he's not on one of his high horses (of which he's got more of than Leno has cars), he seems almost...(dare I say it?)...rational.
He and his brother don't seem to get along so good...must be some sort of family values shit I don't know about. ~~ CЯacke® 00:15, 8 July 2007 (CDT)
PS Like many genii I've known, once you get them out of their little realm of brilliance they're as dumb as the next guy. CЯacke®

Anyone know if public funds go toward this, like ADA requirements, etc? I can't find anything yet.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 15:07, 9 July 2007 (CDT)

AFAIK I think the FC "movement" peaked about the early to mid nineties. The studies showed that when the facilitator and the "client" were shown the same inputs the results were astounding; if differing inputs were shown almost invariably the results corresponded to what the facilitator saw. I don't have study(ies) right here on hand but that's what I remember seeing at the time I read about them. CЯacke® 17:32, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
I think the Frontline report in ?93 was the death knell. I don't know the extent of its current use.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 17:34, 9 July 2007 (CDT)

FC may, in general, be useless; but an FC-like effect can occur when people with autism (or movement disorders) get help not from other humans, but from service animals. Apparently, the animal, usually a dog, can provide what amounts to moral support--just enough to allow the person to initiate and control the movement required for them to use a communication device (I assume the presence of a human would be useful, too, though not for actual facilitation). I also know that some people with attention/memory problems will have an aide to constantly redirect them to their communication device so they don't lose track or perseverate on the same letter/word/symbol. Both of these are very different from the Ouija-board effect of classic FC, but may have contributed to the unfortunate idea that FC is "real communication"... which of course shuts off any actual communication the person may be attempting.-- (talk) 06:48, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

An example of consequences this can have[edit]

See "The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield" (from the New York Times) -- (talk) 14:38, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Tl;dr Anna Stubblefield had sex with a disabled man, D.J., who cannot speak or communicate. Stubblefield thought she gained consent through facilitated communication. The trial determined that she had too much influence over the individual for it to be consent. Also, she left her family and kids for this guy..?—(((CheeseburgerFace))) Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 15:02, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I read this whole goddamn thing. Fuck you, now I'm sad as shit now.—(((CheeseburgerFace))) Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 15:48, 6 April 2017 (UTC)


lots of sources here FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 07:35, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

Seems reasonable to me. Bongolian (talk) 07:52, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

discussion of biased edits[edit]

The entire section headed Evidence for FC in Some Cases is sourced from poor quality research from FC proponents, it needs cleaning up, clarifying or deleting. — Unsigned, by: 2a02:c7d:69d1:3200:9d30:685e:8041:3c7d / talk

Recent edits[edit]

Stop pushing this pseudoscience. It's thoroughly debunked. --RationalWikiman2718 (talk) 00:33, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

The sources cited in the article itself suggest that while not completely reliable, it is not as pseudoscientific as you say. Furthermore, your contributions show a consistent bias on this subject in a way that is incompatible with our mission. Quite frankly, such a display of continued ableism is absolutely unacceptable for this wiki. Please take the time to read this before replying. [1] --Logos (talk) 23:59, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
1. Logos, you're being a dick. It's not fucking ableism to call this pseudoscience. Fuck off with that shit. No really. They might be wrong, but they're not judging people with disabilities at all.
2. You cite an editorial that claims that an absence of quantitative studies somehow indicates improvement in the field beyond its early days of being, well, unadulterated bullshit as your primary evidence that it's not pseudoscience. That should give you pause to consider your position further.
3. Their edits have a central theme of treating FC as pseudoscience, but that's not a fucking bias.
If you can take 1, 2, and 3 to heart, you can have a conversation where you start to resolve this dispute. If you look at what actual doctors are saying in 2018 in their research it's "Purveyors of false treatments frequently claim their treatments are effective, despite a lack of evidence. In some cases, these treatments can lead to dire results.". ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 03:32, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

The evidence is unequivocal: FC always fails in double blind experiments. Those studies suggesting that FC has any validity are of terrible quality and no reputable journal has ever published them. Rationalwiki has already classified it a parapsychology, which means that you (and some other editors) are pushing for a fringe view. --RationalWikiman2718 (talk) 03:38, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Noted, and the article has been reverted. However, I am concerned that this view unintentionally pushes the view that non-verbal autistics are incapable of communicating until proven otherwise, and I would prefer this article calls more attention to accepted AAC measures which have been proven to work in order to avoid this implication. --Logos (talk) 04:28, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
That is a good point. There are legitimate augmented and alternative communication techniques which can provide non-verbal autistics with varying levels of communication, however FC is not one. It would be a good idea to give a nod the these legitimate techniques. --RationalWikiman2718 (talk) 06:54, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

A couple of interesting things missing from this article[edit]

This article is pretty good and thorough, but I think there are two big things missing from it that would be helpful to, especially, autistic people wanting to learn more about the "debate" around facilitated communication:

  • Why so many autism-rights and neurodiversity groups, like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, support facilitated communication (in ASAN's case, include people who "communicate" with it on their board) and condemn groups that say it is pseudoscience. Honestly, RationalWiki is one of the few places on the Internet that is both pro-neurodiversity and anti-FC (for instance, a lot of people who sound the alarm against FC also advocate the abusive and debunked ABA "therapy" as an "alternative" e.g. here), and I think it could be helpful in telling sensible autistic people and advocates how to engage with pro-FC claims from within neurodiversity movements.
  • What makes it different from the scientifically-credible AAC, which is used by some autistic people to communicate, too. And how to tell if a particular autistic "communication method" falls under one or the other, and therefore is sound or not. (And also, to counterpoint claims that saying FC doesn't work and shouldn't be supported means that non-verbal autistic people have no means to communicate.)

I think if these were featured, this article would be perfect. As it is, these are things I'm finding really difficult as a skeptical autistic person, to find anywhere online. --2601:14D:4100:CB11:19F8:9FF1:FACE:9C24 (talk) 00:41, 23 December 2021 (UTC)