Facilitated communication

discredited communication technique in disabled care

Facilitated communication (FC), supported typing, or hand over hand, is a scientifically discredited technique that attempts to aid communication by people with autism or other communication disabilities who are non-verbal. The facilitator guides the disabled person's arm or hand and attempts to help them type on a keyboard or other device.


  • You can't be a one-finger typist and not look at the keyboard. You just can't get oriented. You don't have a home position. And when you watch children who are F/C – facilitated communication – users, they may not be looking at the language board, but the facilitators are not taking their eyes off it. They're fixed on it.
  • FC is not a valid form of communication. It gives only the illusion of communication and denies people with disabilities access to their human rights of autonomy, self-determination, and freedom of expression.
    • Dr. James T. Todd, "It’s time to stop exposing people to the dangers of Facilitated Communication", The Conversation May 22, 2018
  • The obligation of an investigator into a new technique is to show how it works. With FC, there's this basic assumption of "What can it hurt?" The Storch trial is living proof of how dangerous it is to embrace new science before it has been tested.
  • These early studies suggested that FC was susceptible to a somewhat unusual kind of abuse: Allowing others to impose their own wishes, fears, hopes, and agendas on nonspeaking individuals.
    • Gina Green, Ph.D, "Facilitated Communication: Mental Miracle or Sleight of Hand?", Skeptic 1994
  • Anne McDonald could communicate. She proved this beyond dispute in the Supreme Court of Victoria by passing a message that I hadn’t seen in front of the Court’s Senior Master.
    • Rosemary Crossley (a major FC advocate), "Coming Out Fighting", Anne McDonald Centre Website May 15, 2012
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