Authors: Bomba C, O'Donnell L, Markowitz C, Holmes DL
Title: Evaluating the impact of facilitated communication on the communicative competence of fourteen students with autism
Source: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 1996 26(1): 43-58
Year: 1996
Research Design: Case Series

The purpose of this study was to evaluate facilitated communication (FC) as an augmentative or alternative communication system for 14 students attending the Eden Institute in Princeton, NJ. All participants had an independent diagnosis of autism and standardized testing revealed significant deficits in adaptive behavior across all developmental domains. A pretest-posttest design was utilized to (a) determine if any of the participants were immediately capable of communicating through FC (b) if necessary, instruct the participants in the use FC, and (c) determine if this instruction had any impact on their ability to use FC. At the end of 10 weeks of instruction, no participants were able to produce functional, typed communication. Findings are consistent with other quantitative studies that find no support for the cause-effect relationship proposed by FC proponents. ©Springer

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