Anna Wehrenfennig, Luca Surian

Autism and facilitated communication: A review of the experimental studies

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Autism, facilitated communication, treatments for autism, psychological interventions for autism, communication deficits in autism

Facilitated communication (FC) is an intervention aimed at improving communication skills through the teaching of strategies that are not based on oral language. We examine the experimental studies that assessed the effectiveness of this method applied to children with autism and discuss the forensic implications and some hypotheses about the learning mechanisms involved. Most studies reveal that the content of children's messages was affected by information known by the person that helps the child during FC activities. Overall, the results of the studies and some ethical problems suggest that one should be extremely cautious in considering FC as a primary method of intervention for communication deficits in autism and point out its inadequacy in legal proceedings.

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