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Ment Retard. 1996 Apr;34(2):94-107.

Investigation of the validity of facilitated communication through the disclosure of unknown information.


Three individuals (8, 10, and 24 years old with diagnoses of autism and mental retardation) participated in a message-passing format to determine whether they could disclose information previously unknown to their facilitators. Results showed valid facilitated communication from each participant. The facilitated speakers participated in 14 sessions, each lasting approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. A wide range of information was collected, coded, and analyzed for validity, consistency, language difficulties, behavioral compliance, and style of facilitation. Out of 720 communicative interactions, participants disclosed 77 incidents of unknown information. Each participant revealed unique behaviors and styles of responding, and all were able to demonstrate genuinely independent communication through disclosure of specific information previously unknown to a facilitator, although much inconsistency was noted. Results suggest that a phenomena as complex as facilitated communication eludes a cursory exploration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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