Facilitated Communication and Autism

Facilitated communication (also known as supported typing) is a form of augmentative and alternative communication in which someone physically supports an autistic person and helps him to point at pictures or words.

Facilitated communication is based on the idea that many of the difficulties faced by autistic people are due to movement difficulties rather than to social or communication difficulties.

The communication partner (usually called a facilitator) physically supports the autistic person so that he can point to pictures, symbols, letters and/or words using a computer keyboard or letter/picturebooks. By doing this, the autistic person can demonstrate what he wants to communicate.

Autistic people who use facilitated communication often use it as part of a total communication approach. For example, they may use it in combination with other methods of communication such as speech or sign language.

Please Note

There is a significant body of research evidence to show that facilitated communication is ineffective when used with people on the autism spectrum.

There is also evidence that facilitated communication can lead to significant harm.

For these reasons we do not believe that it is an appropriate intervention for people on the autism spectrum.

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15 Jun 2018