A Controversial Autism Therapy Unravels a Family

27 Jun

Time magazine has picked up a story from a six-part investigation by the Detroit Free Press.

Some unproven psychological therapies and techniques for autism aren’t simply ineffective. They can split families and cause untold harm to children, as one family in Michigan learned at terrible cost.

If you are new to the story, let me point out that it isn’t what you might think. It is about facilitated communication and a false charge of sexual abuse.

It’s a story one might think would be out of the 1990’s. Except that it just happened.

The ordeal didn’t end when it was clear that the girl wasn’t communicating, after all. It didn’t end when a sexual assault exam found no proof of abuse. And it didn’t end when a prosecution witness insisted the abuse never happened.

The Time story is here : http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/24/a-controversial-autism-therapy-unravels-a-family/

The Free Press story here: http://www.freep.com/article/20110612/NEWS03/106120522/Family-s-life-unravels-claims-dad-raped-daughter

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99 Responses to “A Controversial Autism Therapy Unravels a Family”

  1. stanley seigler June 29, 2011 at 22:28 #

    [GF say] This thread: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co……tic-stand/…I don’t see anything there that you haven’t said earlier. Please, we’re not your enemies, we’re trying to help you understand.

    agree. my point exactly, there is nothing there or here that hasn’t been said…i said when LBRB posted “A Controversial Autism Therapy Unravels a Family”…”suggest the LBRB FC thread (LBRB owner pls provide link) be reviewed vice going around the bush again…”

    i am not your enemy either. i’m just trying to get you to stop contributing to the denial of rights for non-verbals on the spectrum…

    BTW the thread title should have been: A Stupid Judicial System Unravels a Family

    [GF say] Mr. Seigler, bit of advice: Perhaps you should address these criticisms rather than simply dismiss them. Seriously, let go of your pride, if not for your sake, your daughter’s.

    perhaps the antiFC crusade should address the criticism of their position vice repeating the same old antiFC hyperbole…

    i am too old to be prideful…and know full well what my daughter needs…need no advice from YOU along those lines…you presume too much re my feelings.

    stanley seigler

  2. stanley seigler June 29, 2011 at 23:03 #

    LBRB Owner:

    i have submitted a post several times…get message it’s a duplicte…but it doesnt show on the thread…

    what can i do to correct whatever it is i am doing wrong…

    stanley seigler

  3. Sarah Dorrance-Minch June 29, 2011 at 23:27 #

    This is ridiculous. “Facilitated communication” is no more effective than a Ouija board, which is why insurance companies won’t cover it. What a miscarriage of justice.

  4. Gray Falcon June 29, 2011 at 23:55 #

    So, Mr. Seigler, you’re still standing by your claims in spite of all the evidence shown to you? I’m sure the prosecutor of this horrible case would be proud of you.

  5. Gray Falcon June 30, 2011 at 00:31 #

    Sorry about my previous comment, in retrospect, it was a low blow.

  6. stanley seigler June 30, 2011 at 00:47 #

    [GF] So, Mr. Seigler, you’re still standing by your claims in spite of all the evidence shown to you? I’m sure the prosecutor of this horrible case would be proud of you.

    you mix apples/oranges…position re FC has nothing to with my position re the prosecutor…

    if i had been the father in the case i would have killed the prosecutor…

    position re FC as quoted ad nauseam (elsewhere and maybe on LBRB): “To be a person of truth, be swayed neither by approval nor disapproval. Work at not needing approval from anyone and you will be free to be who you really are.” (Rebbe Nachman)

    stanley seigler

  7. Gray Falcon June 30, 2011 at 00:53 #

    This isn’t a question of our approval, this is a question of physical evidence, which you lack. And if facilitated communication does work, then that means that the prosecutor was right in pursuing the case. After all, someone did just claim her father was raping her.

  8. stanley seigler June 30, 2011 at 01:21 #

    [GF say] This isn’t a question of our approval, this is a question of physical evidence, which you lack. And if facilitated communication does work, then that means that the prosecutor was right in pursuing the case. After all, someone did just claim her father was raping her.

    you put words in my mouth then argue i am wrong…no one said it was a question of yo approval…i just stated my position re yo adhoms…

    it does NOT mean the prosecutor was right…you are straying from the original discussion…to prevent further distraction…this is my last comment to you on the subject…you can have the last word as it seems to be your goal…

    stanley seigler

  9. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 01:27 #

    “Sorry about my previous comment, in retrospect, it was a low blow.”

    Yeh. It kinda was a bit nasty.

    But going back to the original thing here… which is the validity of FC-obtained output for anything official… I’m afraid that the science does not and will never support it. Because, in all investigations so far, FC has failed to validate its own assertions. And, ultimately, that is the problem.

    The fact that courts end up allowing what is basically invalid evidence to stand is a testimony to the fallibility of courts and their members. Nothing else. Which is why accountability should extend to any member of any court (judge, jury member, clerk, usher or whatever) when unreliable evidence is used to confirm an a priori conviction (i. e., a convction decided upon before the evidence has been properly heard or a conviction which has been ‘secured’ regardless of any evidence that would exonerate the defendant). And that should – where death penalties are sanctioned by law – result in an automatic death penalty against each and every member of that court (yes, highest to lowest, regardless of personal conviction about the defendant’s innocence or guilt).*

    * This is the only form of negative reinforcement that I can think of that would go anywhere near to ensuring that ALL members of a court of law would pay due attention the the case before it, and the evidence adduced in such a case. I personally have no problem with the judicially-required death of any person involved in the wrongful conviction of a person charged with a criminal offence he or she did not (within reasonable doubt) commit and for which the evidence was not scientifically sound. The sort of person who WOULD convict on the basis of such flimsy evidence needs to be removed from the gene pool (by any means possible), lest his/her genes infect the rest of us with their grieviously erroneous thinking patterns.

    Even Stanley has made his mind clear on the way in which he would deal with a prosecutor if he were charged with the same thing as the mad in the article were charged with (and charged upon the same basis; i. e., that the charges were brought on the basis of FC-obtained testimony). And I would defend Stanley to the hilt for doing so. But Stanley must realise that sauce for goose is indeed sauce for gander. And that this matter isn’t about the court systems in the US or the UK, but it that is about the reliability of material brought out using FC. Nothing else.

    FC facilitators are already primed to think of this idea that so-many percent of their facilitatees are sexually abused. The statistic used in the training has not been verified elsewhere. The fault is with those who devise and deliver the courses used to train facilitators – courses that we know vary in their content and quality.

    In other words, even Stanley has his limits as to what he would put up with that was based upon FC-obtained output from anyone using the services of an FC facilitator. And this is the point at which Stanley really needs to consider the validity of any inferences made on the basis of the results of FC-obtained communication by anyone. Not just his daughter. Anyone. And if he would feel like killing a prosecutor based on the (as only he could know, false) prosecution of a case against him for something that I doubt very much that Stanley would even think about getting involved in.

    So, basically, we can be sure that Stanley has his own limits of conficence that he would put on the FC-output produced and attributed to his own daughter. This should be a lesson to the following:

    1- Stanley -because such accusations DO get levelled against people for no other reason than an FC facilitator managed to get that accusation out of his/her facilitatee; and,

    2- the rest of us who don’t accept FC should realise that even those who DO accept it may well have their limits, as Stanley has – quite correctly in my opinion – shown this evening (my time).

    We are probably done here. Who else agrees?

  10. Gray Falcon June 30, 2011 at 01:28 #

    Stanley, this case was the original discussion, I was moving back towards the point of this article, rather than away from it. And what “adhoms” did we make? Our primary point was that all the evidence showed FC didn’t work, that isn’t a ad hominem attack, that’s a serious point to consider. Don’t just make accusations, back them up!

  11. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 01:32 #

    comment in moderation. may be the final comment here, given the content of the thread and its meanings.

  12. stanley seigler June 30, 2011 at 01:49 #

    [DNA say] comment in moderation. may be the final comment here, given the content of the thread and its meanings.

    thanks DNA, for the measured comments…one day we may agree on FC/HOH…miracles do happen

    this is a line from a post that would/will not post…

    stanley seigler

  13. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 02:27 #

    Stanley: “thanks DNA, for the measured comments…one day we may agree on FC/HOH”

    Welcome, sir. Sadly, unless you see the point we’re making on the science, we’re unlikely to agree on the FC/HoH thing. Doesn’t mean I don’t respect you for trying at least something to help your daughter. I mean that. I absolutely do respect you for that. I’ve seen kids for whom the lack of a willing parent was the reason why they were in a school that offered so little to them. I just strongly disagree with your way of doing things, even though I can understand that choices were somewhat limited. Therefore I know who was at fault, and I don’t think it was actually you.

    On this topic I don’t thnk there’s going to be much else to say. Except that I so wish you could get the science. Because it is there to help you and it can, if people working with you and your daughter do it right. Clearly they haven’t, and this is something that those of us who understand and use the scientific method should acknowledge: scientists are not always so held to the standards that they sign up to when they go into science. All I can say is that I am. So, if I were to offer suggestions to anyone, it would not be a glib idea thing. It would be something I’d considered for a while, and based upon whatever information I havd been able to gain about someone’s situation. But it would always be something that I was aware had been scientifically validated. That is how I worked in the medical physics & clinical engineering place. It is how I have worked as a consultant here in Finland. And it is how I worked when I tutored people in mathematics at the further education college at which I worked. I definitely follow the science. I cannot stop doing so. But neither can I see you as an enemy.

  14. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 02:42 #

    comment in response to Gray Falcon still in moderation….should i repost? i can, if need be.

  15. stanley seigler June 30, 2011 at 04:10 #

    to LBRB owner:

    do you intend to respond to the below post…

    know you have a busy schedule…so a simple yes/no would be appreciated.

    stanley seigler

    the below post:

    LBRB Owner:

    i have submitted a post several times…get message it’s a duplicte…but it doesnt show on the thread…

    what can i do to correct whatever it is i am doing wrong…

    stanley seigler

  16. stanley seigler June 30, 2011 at 12:47 #

    [DNA say] Sadly, unless you see the point we’re making on the science, we’re unlikely to agree on the FC/HoH thing…

    sadly you dont see the point (reality)…you ignore the basis of true science…seeing is believing…observable science…and you fall into the category of those who claim to know the absolute truth…ie;

    “Contrary to what many believe, neither skeptics nor science claim to know the absolute truth on matters. They claim to hold provisional truths: answers that are the best explanation for things at the present time” (forget quote source)

    the process/test to determine autism intelligence (AI)…part of AI is the innate ability, that FC surfaces, to learn without formal education ( teach one’s self)…does not exist….

    the over simplified test those who know the absolute truth hang their hat doesn’t come close to explaining AI/FC…in the FC case, your science is a version of (similar to) ms dawson’s promotional, autism/ABA, science.

    it might help me understand your point if someone would answer the question, “if FC were called hand over hand (HOH) would there be an antiHOH crusade”…instead of an answer you say:

    “As for FC just being hand-over-hand…even the main FC promotion lot disagree with that. Probably because you cannot really patent h-o-h methods.”

    to my knowledge, the promotion lot do not disagree that FC is HOH and not sure they are interested in patenting FC/HOH…that said my hypothetical is: if it were called HOH would there be an antiHOH crusade…

    the promotion lot say: “The method [FC] requires an additional person (the “facilitator”) to provide assistance using hand-over-hand and/or arm support…”

    http://www.idahoat.org/dnn/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=I02kF21lwYs%3D&tabid=68&mid=408

    (FYI in case you have not read: Common Myths and Misunderstandings About Facilitated Communication …http://www.autism-resources.com/papers/common_myths_and_misunderstandings_FC)

    [DNA say] ‘miraculous’ is not natural. And it is one of the things we look for in science to signal that something needs proper investigation.

    the signal was missed in the 1960s when the talking typewriter produced some of the same miraculous results that FC and non FCers like carly produce…if the signal had been acted on (if there were a proper investigation) in the 60s…we would not be having this discussion…there would have been a better understanding of autism intelligence…instead

    science is still in the dark ages re autism intelligence and the innate ability many on the spectrum have to teach themselves…learn without a formal education.

    stanley seigler

  17. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 13:28 #

    Stanley, i’ve still one in moderation. no swearing in it or anything. i think it’s just a very sensitive spam-trap because of the nut jobs that occasionally nip in for drive-by troll-postings…. i’m sure there’s nothing personal in it.

  18. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 13:30 #

    repost of thread in moderation:

    Pt1-

    “Sorry about my previous comment, in retrospect, it was a low blow.”

    Yeh. It kinda was a bit nasty.

    But going back to the original thing here… which is the validity of FC-obtained output for anything official… I’m afraid that the science does not and will never support it. Because, in all investigations so far, FC has failed to validate its own assertions. And, ultimately, that is the problem.

    The fact that courts end up allowing what is basically invalid evidence to stand is a testimony to the fallibility of courts and their members. Nothing else. Which is why accountability should extend to any member of any court (judge, jury member, clerk, usher or whatever) when unreliable evidence is used to confirm an a priori conviction (i. e., a convction decided upon before the evidence has been properly heard or a conviction which has been ‘secured’ regardless of any evidence that would exonerate the defendant). And that should – where death penalties are sanctioned by law – result in an automatic death penalty against each and every member of that court (yes, highest to lowest, regardless of personal conviction about the defendant’s innocence or guilt).*

    This is the only form of negative reinforcement that I can think of that would go anywhere near to ensuring that ALL members of a court of law would pay due attention the the case before it, and the evidence adduced in such a case. I personally have no problem with the judicially-required death of any person involved in the wrongful conviction of a person charged with a criminal offence he or she did not (within reasonable doubt) commit and for which the evidence was not scientifically sound. The sort of person who WOULD convict on the basis of such flimsy evidence needs to be removed from the gene pool (by any means possible), lest his/her genes infect the rest of us with their grieviously erroneous thinking patterns.

    Even Stanley has made his mind clear on the way in which he would deal with a prosecutor if he were charged with the same thing as the mad in the article were charged with (and charged upon the same basis; i. e., that the charges were brought on the basis of FC-obtained testimony). And I would defend Stanley to the hilt for doing so. But Stanley must realise that sauce for goose is indeed sauce for gander. And that this matter isn’t about the court systems in the US or the UK, but it that is about the reliability of material brought out using FC. Nothing else.

    FC facilitators are already primed to think of this idea that so-many percent of their facilitatees are sexually abused. The statistic used in the training has not been verified elsewhere. The fault is with those who devise and deliver the courses used to train facilitators – courses that we know vary in their content and quality.

    (continued)

  19. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 13:30 #

    Pt2-

    In other words, even Stanley has his limits as to what he would put up with that was based upon FC-obtained output from anyone using the services of an FC facilitator. And this is the point at which Stanley really needs to consider the validity of any inferences made on the basis of the results of FC-obtained communication by anyone. Not just his daughter. Anyone. And if he would feel like killing a prosecutor based on the (as only he could know, false) prosecution of a case against him for something that I doubt very much that Stanley would even think about getting involved in.

    So, basically, we can be sure that Stanley has his own limits of conficence that he would put on the FC-output produced and attributed to his own daughter. This should be a lesson to the following:

    1- Stanley -because such accusations DO get levelled against people for no other reason than an FC facilitator managed to get that accusation out of his/her facilitatee; and,

    2- the rest of us who don’t accept FC should realise that even those who DO accept it may well have their limits, as Stanley has – quite correctly in my opinion – shown this evening (my time).

    We are probably done here. Who else agrees?

  20. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 13:32 #

    repost of comment in moderation:

    Pt1-

    “Sorry about my previous comment, in retrospect, it was a low blow.”

    Yeh. It kinda was a bit nasty.

    But going back to the original thing here… which is the validity of FC-obtained output for anything official… I’m afraid that the science does not and will never support it. Because, in all investigations so far, FC has failed to validate its own assertions. And, ultimately, that is the problem.

    The fact that courts end up allowing what is basically invalid evidence to stand is a testimony to the fallibility of courts and their members. Nothing else. Which is why accountability should extend to any member of any court (judge, jury member, clerk, usher or whatever) when unreliable evidence is used to confirm an a priori conviction (i. e., a convction decided upon before the evidence has been properly heard or a conviction which has been ‘secured’ regardless of any evidence that would exonerate the defendant). And that should – where death penalties are sanctioned by law – result in an automatic death penalty against each and every member of that court (yes, highest to lowest, regardless of personal conviction about the defendant’s innocence or guilt).*

    This is the only form of negative reinforcement that I can think of that would go anywhere near to ensuring that ALL members of a court of law would pay due attention the the case before it, and the evidence adduced in such a case. I personally have no problem with the judicially-required death of any person involved in the wrongful conviction of a person charged with a criminal offence he or she did not (within reasonable doubt) commit and for which the evidence was not scientifically sound. The sort of person who WOULD convict on the basis of such flimsy evidence needs to be removed from the gene pool (by any means possible), lest his/her genes infect the rest of us with their grieviously erroneous thinking patterns.

    Even Stanley has made his mind clear on the way in which he would deal with a prosecutor if he were charged with the same thing as the mad in the article were charged with (and charged upon the same basis; i. e., that the charges were brought on the basis of FC-obtained testimony). And I would defend Stanley to the hilt for doing so. But Stanley must realise that sauce for goose is indeed sauce for gander. And that this matter isn’t about the court systems in the US or the UK, but it that is about the reliability of material brought out using FC. Nothing else.

    FC facilitators are already primed to think of this idea that so-many percent of their facilitatees are sexually abused. The statistic used in the training has not been verified elsewhere. The fault is with those who devise and deliver the courses used to train facilitators – courses that we know vary in their content and quality.

    (continued)

  21. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 13:33 #

    this is infuriating … only part 2 of my comment came through; part one is now twice held in moderation. Pt2 makes no sense without part one. can someone look into this? and also Stanley’s since he’s having a hard time posting too,

  22. stanley seigler June 30, 2011 at 15:43 #

    [DNA say] We are probably done here. Who else agrees?

    probably…thanks for the input…kinda amazing how we see the same thing and come up with strong disagreement on it…but as said we do agree on most issues…and believe we respect each others opinion on FC or HOH:)

    regards

    stanley seigler

  23. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. June 30, 2011 at 17:02 #

    well, let’s say i respect your right to an opinion even if i disagree with the opinion itself (for what any scientist would see as very good reasons).

  24. Prometheus June 30, 2011 at 19:42 #

    Mr. Seigler retorts (re: my blood-letting analogy):

    “…your blood-letting eg, does nothing to support your opine…not a good analogy…blood-letting was popular with the professionals of that day…”

    Actually, blood-letting was quite popular among the general public, who would often go to their barber (later surgeon) to have it performed when they were feeling ill. It was, in fact, the professionals of a slightly later day who put an end to the practise, despite its popularity.

    All of this comes down to the same thing, however: the popularity of a medical therapy is not well correlated with its efficacy. In fact, some highly effective therapies (e.g. weight loss, exercise, not smoking, etc.) are very unpopular with the general public, to judge from what we see on the streets.

    Mr. Seigler, whether or not 10,000 people “like” FC or not is irrelevant to the question of “Does it work?”. That question needs data, not popularity.

    Prometheus

  25. stanley seigler June 30, 2011 at 21:37 #

    [Prometheus say] Actually, blood-letting was quite popular among the general public, who would often go to their barber (later surgeon) to have it performed when they were feeling ill.

    OK if you say so…not sure its means anything but for sake of argument…show me the proof (you have connection with the 16th century)…

    guess the practice of medicine was different in days of yore…the sick went to the docs and said bleed me please…today people go to the doc to get a recommendations…not to tell docs/barbers what to do…perhaps the po folks of yore were right…who knows…

    [Prometheus say]…whether or not 10,000 people “like” FC or not is irrelevant to the question of “Does it work?”. That question needs data, not popularity.

    the 10,000 fig came from an antiFC crusader (kwom)…i have no idea if 10,000 liked or not…agree it’s irrelevant…FC WORKS!

    it worked for larry and tracy (Wretches & Jabberers), my daughter (on a limited basis), and some of her peers…btw do you know anyone who uses or has been harmed by FC…and;

    perhaps you will answer the question no one else has: “if FC were called hand over hand (HOH) that leads to independent typing would there be an antiHOH crusade…

    take away all the hyperbole and bs and that’s what FC is…HOH

    to repeat: science is still in the dark ages re autism intelligence and the innate ability (surfaced by the talking typewriter in the 60s and FC today)many on the spectrum have to teach themselves…learn without a formal education…

    stanley seigler

  26. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 1, 2011 at 01:40 #

    Prometheus: “Mr. Seigler, whether or not 10,000 people ‘like’ FC or not is irrelevant to the question of ‘Does it work?’. That question needs data, not popularity.”

    Really, Stanley, I have to agree with Prometheus here. Let me give you an example, okay? Let’s assume that someone comes up with a new drug to deal with the pain that is caused by migraines. These pains, as any migraineur (including me) will know, are often unbelievably nasty and can often drive one to the very edge of killing oneself. So, if someone can come up with a fantastic new medication that will enable a migraineur to get relatively fast and lasting relief from that sort of pain… you can bet that my fellow migraineurs and I will be happy to know about it.

    Now let’s say that this person who has come up with something that s/he says is brilliant for migraines… many ears prick up and listen. This is good news, no? Well … actually not yet. We shall see shortly why this is so. This person starts to manufacture and sell this medication and many hundreds buy it. Many do not, however, for reasons that will come later. Then the hundreds of people who started taking it tell their friends and they have been experiencing migraines too. So they get into this medication and start telling others. Then slowly, the original wave of people who bought this medication start to not feel so good after all. Within a few weeks,they feel very odd and start to hallucinate, and this causes them some problems. The second wave of people to buy this stuff seemto feel better for a while but then, as time goes by, they find themselves feeling no better with the medication than without.

    How can this be? What is going on here? Well, to find out, that country’s equivalent of the FDA is called in to investigate this medication, which is called, for want of a better name, Migone (from ‘migraine <b<gone‘). They contact the guy who’s been making it and it turns out that – contrary to that country’s rules on medicinal preparations – he’s not been through a proper testing of the medication and this means that he has no clue why some people are taking the medicine and having hallucinations and why others are taking it and having a very short-term improvement before going back to their previous states.

    Now, they find a smallish sample of the initial batch of this medicine and they take it to be tested. It is found to contain an ergot-like substance. Well, ergot-like substances can definitely help with head pain: indeed, LSD was originally synthesised for this purpose (from what I’ve read, at least). But this dose of ergot-like substance was not enough for the level of pain the people were experiencing. So they were overdoing it. There’d been no instructions on how to use this stuff, so they just assumed that by taking more of it, they’d get a better level of pain relief. Well… the FDA equivalent people weren’t sure about the pain relief, but they were getting a bloody good idea of why these people were seeing stuff that wasn’t there and hearing voices when there was no evidence physical source for the voices. They were, to put it in simple terms, tripping.

    Hippies would probably not object to this, but it was causing all manner of problems for the migraineurs. They thought they were going mad! The medics at the FDA-equivalent body told them to stop taking the medicine and this would all go away, and they’d then sort them out with something that they knew would work. The second lot of people’s issue was still not sorted though. Eventually another group of FDAEs was brought in to investigate that situation. What they found was that the guy making them had switched his active ingredient. From the ergot-like substance to … well… nothing, essentially. Just a bunch of vitamins and that would – said the FDAE’s second group – only give a placebo response until the reality of the pain kicked in as the response wore off. Essentially, the first batch gave hallucinations and the second batch gave expensive piss. Any relief was short-lived.

    How could this happen? Well, the answer is that no clinical trials had been conducted on this new ‘medicine’, and for that reason it was hard to know what to do with this stuff and how to handle the weird side effects of the first batch. Clinical trials are basically experiments set up to find out if the hypothesis – that this new medicine would work – was actually correct. Because they are experiments, any good clinical trials will control for (i. e., try to find out data regarding) things like dosage effects, any incidental/unwanted effects, any actual therapeutic effect and so on. These things are very rigorously done and can be replicated elsewhere to see if the same effects and data come out of the replication trials. These trials give us data that we can use to our ultimate benefit: we can predict how much of a medication is needed for a given level of symptomatology; we can predict what the signs of overdose will be; we can predict even the sorts of side effects that certain types of people might reasonably expect to experience; and we can also predict what can be given to combat those. All these things are possible within a set of limits that we call confidence limits: this are the nominal extremes of a confidence interval that roughly how likely we are to be right in those predictions… it is slightly more complicated than this, in fact, but this is a useful definition for our purposes just now.

    Without this rigorous testing and number crunching, the guy selling the weird medication had set off on a potentially dangerous path: he had – negligently – put people’s lives in danger with the first batch of medicine and simply scammed them with the second.

    What does this have to do with FC? Well… good question. Here’s the answer…

    It has everything to do with it. Because any kind of intervention, be it a medicine, a psychological therapy, a surgical technique, an assistive method or anything being touted as a way of changing some situation for the better, must be rigorously tested and re-tested to find out if what we think they will do is what they actually end up doing. Lovaas’ work on the early applied behaviour-analytic stuff was sadly lacking in this regard. Michelle Dawson actually did some good research on that problem and it should inform further research and practice in behaviour analysis. To be fair, the behaviour-analytic crowd have developed more rigorous ways of doing things and the results they are getting are not as strong as the results claimed by Lovaas; but they are more consistent overall. A good thing. This allows prediction.

    Well… FC has not been tested properly (if at all) by those who have been pushing it around the world. Bilkin’ Biklen may argue that quantitative evaluation of the method does not look at the important things involved in FC, and that qualitative evaluation should be the thing that says whether or not this thing works. But – speaking as one who has tutored at university level on research methods and statistical techniques – I can honestly say that Biklen is talking absolute rubbish. Qualitative methods with get you some good data, sure, but it won’t tell you if something is working or not. It will tell you people’s experiences of something; but that is not information about whether that something actually works. And it really is that simple. To find out whether some method is working, it has to be tested; the things that the method is supposed to be doing should be designed in such a way that we can could them if they happen. What came out in the research that my ex-wife and I conducted into this FC thing is that neither Crossley nor Biklen actually conducted any rigorous quantitative testing of FC (Pukki & Andrews, 2011). And the first actual rigorous testing of FC was not done by anti-FC groups: it was done by the O. D. Heck Developmental Center in New York State.

    Staff at O. D. Heck had all been trained in FC by Biklen’s lot at Syracuse University in New York City. The Center’s main psychologist, Doug Wheeler, did not question this use. He didn’t see much point in rocking the boat. The staff had been getting results. Many of these were a bit miraculous. But he found that a good many of the messages typed by the autistic people who were based there were full of causes for concern. So, like a responsible psychologist, he stepped in and devised some testing protocols for this method they’d been using with their clients. When he reviewed the available literature, all that couldbe found was Biklen’s article in the Harvard Educational Review. Sounds impressive, no? The <i<HER, though, is not a peer reviewed journal. And, for that reason alone, it is clear that FC was not a scientifically validated method. It have been reported on in what is essentially a somewhat elite diary.

    Wheeler decided to test this method scientifically. The way he did this is actually reported elsewhere, so I shaln’t go into much detail here. Suffice to say … he managed to find a way to figure out who was actually generating the FC-assisted text. If you show – on a T-screen – two pictures, one to the client and one to the facilitator, and see which of the pictures is identified by the facilitator-client dyad, you will get probably the best idea of who is generating the text. So, the testing was done. Pictures were shown to the dyads; and, within the dyads, sometimes they were given the same picture and sometimes different pictures and sometimes (if I recall correctly) the facilitator or the client would be shown nothing when the other was shown a picture. The result astonded the staff at the Center: after three months of trials, with 180 trials involving nine facilitators and twelve students, the only correct identifications were to the pictures/nothings that the facilitators were seeing. The only time the clients got anything right was if the facilitator saw what the client saw.

    Since then, many other studies have been done on FC – to count actual data about things that were countable – and the sad fact is that FC does not work. Wheeler’s study – actually a study from the pro-FC camp – made it perfectly clear that FC was not working: it was not the clients doing the typing. It was the facilitators. Clear evidence that FC is not helping the client to have a voice. If anything, FC is replacing the voice of the client with that of the facilitator. And that serves nobody in any of the short, medium or long term.

    So, this is why – despite respecting Stanley’s right to have an opinion – I cannot agree with that opinion and I cannot support his decision, no matter what extent of good faith it was based on. That is not to say that I condemn him. Readers may guess about the real target of my condemnation.

    Reference:

    Pukki, H-K., & Andrews, D. N., (2011) Fasilitoitu kommunikaatio – ongelmalliset piirteet ja viestien alkuperän selvittäminen (Eng: Facilitated communication – problematic features and the determination of the origin of the messages), AutSpect Education, Kotka, Finland. ISBN: 978-952-99852-4-1

  27. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 1, 2011 at 01:41 #

    comment in moderation with some weird html bagaraps in it.

  28. stanley seigler July 1, 2011 at 03:01 #

    [DNA say] etc, etc…So, this is why – despite respecting Stanley’s right to have an opinion – I cannot agree with that opinion and I cannot support his decision, no matter what extent of good faith it was based on. That is not to say that I condemn him. Readers may guess about the real target of my condemnation.

    thanks for the explanation/details… i appreciate your time and comments…but after conversations with FCer sue rubin (Autism Is a World) and living with my daughter before (1965-92) and after FC…not sure there is anything that would convince me FC does not work…

    my daughter (will always need 24/7, 1:1 support) doesn’t write poetry…and doesn’t FC with me all the time but when she does you can bet your saccharine donkey it’s her…NOT me.

    i am so saddened that due to the antiFC crusade many will not have the opportunity my daughter has…dont understand the antiFC crusade…why not just let an interdisciplinary team determine needs/programs as required in CA-USA…

    stanley seigler

  29. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 1, 2011 at 06:04 #

    Before I go to bed, Stanley, let me reiterate something I mentioned way back. When I was reading my physics component of my BA-equivalence, I did a practicum in the medical physics and clinical engineering department of a local hospital, where I was a research technician in remediation/rehabilitation engineering. What this involved – in my case – was that I worked with people who, like your daughter, could not speak without some form of assistance. We provided technological support packages, tailored to their needs, and trained the people and their families in the use of these packages. Because of the training I got there – from a physicist, not a psychologist – I was able to develop a strongly scientific means of investigating anything than was needing that. When I teach, as I still occasionally do, I remind people of something that was said by one of the most renouned physicists in the world: Richard Feynman. He said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.

    The ‘you’ in there was, at the time he said this, the people commencing at Caltech one year in the 70s. But it could just as easily be you, me, Kim, James, the Dalai Lama or anybody. The point is that, just because we are human and we have desires to confirm what we think we already know, we should be on our guard against doing that.

    I do not want for people in your daughter’s situation to never get a voice. But – given what I know from my research and training as a scientist (both behavioural and mathematical) – I cannot support a method of working that has failed time and again to produce empirical evidence of itself actually working like it says on the tin. FC has constantly demonstrated that it is the facilitator doing the talking, and taking over what should be the voice of the person. Given that problem, I know that -should anything happen to my child that even temporarily should deprive her of speech- no FC promoter would even get within 400 yards of her. She deserves the best that can be provided; and in that situation she would deserve the best assistive communication support available. Which is why she most certainly wouldn’t get FC. I’m not letting somebody else take her ‘voice’ over and make it theirs. And I’m not even gonna risk that happening. I’d be acting remiss as a father if I did risk that.

    I’m not trying to stpo people from having a voice: I just want to be able to turn round, if doubts are raised, and say that the science done on the method that is chosen has been done and the data accounted for a huge number of the concerns we had, and we had serious confidence in the output than the person was making. And we do not have that with FC. End of. And I should sleep.

  30. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 1, 2011 at 06:04 #

    “thanks for the explanation/details… i appreciate your time and comments…”

    you’re welcome.

  31. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 1, 2011 at 09:34 #

    weird strike-through in my post there… weird indeed….

  32. stanley seigler July 1, 2011 at 16:24 #

    [DNA say]…

    guess we have to leave it to history…or maybe science will develop a test for autism intelligence (AI)…

    BTW i am an engineer and we always throw in huge safety factors to compensate for science…this applies to hard science (eg physics) and doubly so for soft science (eg behavioral)…so i am reasonable sure i’m not fooling myself that FC works for my daughter…

    ditto sue rubin and larry and tracy…and if for them why for all…

    i know your motives opposing FC are pure…have serious doubts re many members of the antiFC crusade…they would lose their cash cow (ABA, $40,000 each/yr) if they acknowledged FC worked…

    stanley seigler

  33. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 1, 2011 at 16:57 #

    Can’t comment much on most of your latest comment, Stanley, but as for the autistic intelligence thing … if I were in a position to do so, I’d be working on that. One thing I do know, though, is that Biklen and Crossley are not psychologists and – as such – have no clue what intellectual ability is. For that reason, I would never put great store by that they say.

    Regarding loss of cash cows, it might be useful to remember that – even if further study were to find that FC did in fact work and the ABA lot were forced to accept it – could FC teach a kid to tie his/her shoelaces? Or how to solve a mathematics problem? No. Those things are, essentially, successive approximation things and – if need be – teaching individual elements of a functional activity and then chaining them together (and providing feedback) to develop the skills being taught. Still within the overall areas of usefulness for behaviour-analytic work (since such work is much more of an educational pursuit that it ever was a ‘clinical’ one). So, I’m not sure that it’s any sort of cash-cows involved here (plus, as a consultant myself in a market where the state-sanctioned guys have it all stitched up for only Finnish psychologists to even manage to break even here, I can tell you now that the sorts of fees charged for ABA-validated work – whilst expensive – are still cheaper than an hour of psychoanalysis every weekday for about 10 yrs; ergo, I’m not sure that overall yearly cost is that much of an issue).

    But it is good that you know that my motives are pure. I don’t think that many people’s motives on the ‘anti’ side are that suspect, to be honest. But I can’t go into that just now. I thank you for accepting that about my motives for opposition. It means a lot to me. For now, then, have a nice day.

  34. stanley seigler July 2, 2011 at 18:14 #

    thoughtfully re-read your July 1st, 2011 01:40:22 post which referenced:

    “Pukki, H-K., & Andrews, D. N., (2011): Facilitated communication – problematic features and the determination of the origin of the messages), AutSpect Education, Kotka, Finland. ISBN: 978-952-99852-4-1”

    unsuccessfully googled for the paper…can you furnish a link…

    tho unsuccessful re the paper…i did learn an impressive bit about you…i should be paying you for consulting time with this parent…but your time/comments was/is appreciated…and my sincere apologies for all the not so smart, smart ass remarks in the original LBRB FC exchange.

    the new found respect does not mean i will not be brutally frank when i disagree with you … eg, you are WRONG about FC:).

    i know you will reciprocate likewise…and OK if some smart-ass adhoms are thrown in for emphasis…

    stanley seigler

  35. stanley seigler July 2, 2011 at 20:17 #

    ps

    the stanley seigler July 2nd, 2011 18:14:44 was addressed to David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E

  36. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 3, 2011 at 01:11 #

    Stanley:

    “unsuccessfully googled for the paper…can you furnish a link…

    tho unsuccessful re the paper…i did learn an impressive bit about you…i should be paying you for consulting time with this parent…but your time/comments was/is appreciated…and my sincere apologies for all the not so smart, smart ass remarks in the original LBRB FC exchange.”

    It’s a training text written in Finnish, I’m afraid; we only distribute it with the course we teach. But the content is not different from what I say here. Re ‘smart ass remarks’ … I apologised for mine and I thought pretty much we’d cleared that up at the time so don’t be worrying. But I thank you for your apologies.

    And I thank you for your kind words of appreciation.

    I’m going to get back to trying to survive living in a flat that feels as hot as a sauna… wish me luck.

  37. Arthur Golden July 3, 2011 at 21:15 #

    Professor James Todd writes about ” the multiple FC court cases, mostly civil, that have popped up over the last few years.” My rule of thumb is that “few” as in “the last few years” means 3 and therefore 3 years. Assuming it means 3 years, “mostly civil” means some were criminal court cases, but the last criminal court case seems to be the Wendrow case, which ended in criminal court in April 2008, over 3 years ago, so by my rule of thumb it was outside “the last few years.” During the last 3 years, there has been only the Wendrow case in civil court, although if you count all the separate proceedings, I guess Professor Todd could count the Wendrow case as “multiple FC court cases” but I think it is more reasonable to count it as just one civil court case in the last few years. If provided additional information, I will change my statements, but I strongly doubt that there is any additional information. This is just another example of the gross exaggerations about Facilitated Communications by Professor Todd.

    Arthur Golden

  38. stanley seigler July 4, 2011 at 04:38 #

    these are some clips (circa 1960s) re the ” talking typewriter” (TT)…the hard copy children produced with the TT is very similar to what they produce with FC…

    the discussion/research should be about autism intelligence (AI) vice dissing FC… the antiFC crusaders missed the 1960s signal to begin research on AI…when clues surfaced with FC…they missed it again…choose to diss FC.

    so much wasted time…why, why why…so quick to diss FC…but ignored the TT signal

    CLIPS
    During the past five years some 400 children of all races, ranging in age from two to seven, in background from deprived to wealthy, and in ability from retarded to gifted, have chalked up impressive achievements with the talking typewriter…

    Moore’s machine may hold unexpected promise for seriously disturbed children too. One six-year-old had never spoken, and several psychiatrists recommended that he be sent to a mental institution. In desparation, doctors at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, N.Y., decided to try the talking typewriter. The child seemed fascinated by the machine, and after several months he suddenly began to talk. He is far from cured, but it now appears that he may go to school instead of an institution. “The machine’s potential may be even more enormous than we suspected,” says Dr. Mary Goodwin, a pediatrician.
    http://www.michaelslevinson.com/satevepost.html

    We were amazed. Nobody knew it before that day, but he had taught himself how to read. He has a sense of words beyond the scope of everyone’s imagination…
    http://www.michaelslevinson.com/testimonials.html
    [END CLIPS]

    stanley seigler

  39. stanley seigler July 4, 2011 at 23:21 #

    [Arthur Golden say] This [multiple v few] is just another example of the gross exaggerations about Facilitated Communications by Professor Todd.

    exaggerations and hyperbole seems to be SOP for todd/wombles denigration of FC…eg;

    [wombles say]…all taken positions against facilitated communication based on the research literature: “AACAP | AAMR | AAP | ABA | APA | ASAT | ASC/SCA | ASHA | BAAM | Heilpädagogische Forschung | MADSEC | NYSDH | New Zealand Ministries of Health.” […] There is absolutely NO good reason based on technology alone for anyone to be using facilitated communication

    ABSOLUTELY NO REASON…and on wombles blog she say: “no excuse to use fc. None…And I call bs on your contentions”

    no excuse..unless non verbals want to use FC…eg, larry and tracy, want to use it…but then why should we give them a choice…they are just autistics who found their voice thru FC

    maybe ASHA has a reason;

    [ASHA say] In the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) world there are catalogues full of communication devices and adaptive technology to enable a disabled person to communicate independently. However, many children and adults with autism and other disabilities do not respond as desired to the efforts of the communication specialist. They might perseverate and keep banging one key, or hit keys randomly, or throw the device, or not look at it, or type the same words repeatedly, or engage in any number of behaviors, none of which results in communication. This where a facilitator is necessary to help establish meaningful communication. http://asa.confex.com/asa/2009/webprogram/Session4318.html

    perhaps wombles means “ALL have taken positions except ASHA”…maybe??? see above and below…

    [ASHA SAY] … it is the recommendation of this committee that speech-language pathologists and others who are or will be engaged in providing facilitated communication instruction should:

    1. Receive state-of-the-art training in this method [FC] and also possess competency across the various aspects of AAC.

    for “should” items 2-5, and context, pls goto:

    http://www.asha.org/docs/html/TR1994-00139.html#sec1.12

    comments from wombles referenced baam page follow: http://www.baam.emich.edu/baamsciencewatch/baamfcresolutions.htm

    [AACAP say] Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that FC is not a scientifically valid technique for individuals with autism or mental retardation. In particular, information obtained via (FC) should not be used to confirm or deny allegations of abuse or to make diagnostic or treatment decisions http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/policy_statements/facilitated_communication

    [AAP] Their use does not appear warranted at this time, except within research protocols.

    [ASAT ] In particular, information obtained via (FC) should not be used to confirm or deny allegations of abuse or to make diagnostic or treatment decisions.
    [end baam ref page comments

    “should not be used to confirm or deny allegations of abuse or to make diagnostic or treatment decisions”… “does not appear”…

    positions do NOT say should NOT be used…only that FC should not be used to confirm or deny abuse or to make a diagnostic…with which I agree…

    this true of say a third (maybe more) of the baam refs wombles provides…then we have the pro FC papers…which todd/wombles dismiss as gullible idiots.

    stanley seigler

  40. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 5, 2011 at 23:39 #

    Stanley, perhaps I should explain something to you about what these position statements actually mean.

    “AACAP: Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that FC is not a scientifically valid technique for individuals with autism or mental retardation. In particular, information obtained via (FC) should not be used to confirm or deny allegations of abuse or to make diagnostic or treatment decisions.”

    This statement says that studies have demonstrated very clearly that FC does not do what its proponents say it does: which is work. The use of the term ‘in particular’ makes it clear that its use is eschewed for any purpose, and especially in diagnostic and treatment decisions.

    “AAP: Their use does not appear warranted at this time, except within research protocols.”

    The research protocols referred to would be those attempting to investigate FC as a means of communication support.

    “ASAT: In particular, information obtained via (FC) should not be used to confirm or deny allegations of abuse or to make diagnostic or treatment decisions.”

    As with the AACAP statement, this hinges on the use of ‘in particular’: and this is where the court situation in the article heading this thread has failed as a means of seeking truth and justice. It has used a scientifically invalid and disproven technique for a purpose that contradicts ASAT’s statement: that of confirming or denying abuse.

    Stanley: “positions do NOT say should NOT be used…only that FC should not be used to confirm or deny abuse or to make a diagnostic…with which I agree”

    The thing is that the position statements do in fact say not to use FC… and they say that, in particular it should not be used for confirmation/denial of abuse, and also not for diagnostic/treatment decisions.

    Specifically from a professional perspective, being a consultant, I have to advise when asked on the matter that the method should not be used, period. And let’s face it – if it is not to be used for important issues (i. e., confirmation/denial of abuse; diagnostic/treatment decisions) because it is just not reliable enough, then it’s probably not reliable for any purpose.

    What my ex-wife and I do in the course we present is to say that FC is controversial, and has been demonstrated time and again to be not a valid means of supporting communication (giving the reasons that crop up in the research). We present critiques of the research (from both sides), and we say that – if it is going to be used, then it must be continually tested. And, if the testing does not provide evidence of message origination with the client, then it should be discontinued and alternatives used. We give some basic – but very effective – methods of investigation; and we teach (well, I teach!) some very simple statistical methods for determination of the origin of messages produced in FC.

    I can see why you wish to speak not-so-highly of Kim and James – but I think your disdain is misplaced, really. They are only trying to tell you what I am trying to explain – albeit in a matter of fact way (at least it’s not in such an openly nasty way as I was using the other year, and for which I am still ashamed).

    You and I both have engineering backgrounds. I’ve been in mechanical and electronic engineering and – even as an undergraduate reading physics – rehabilitation engineering (covering a lot of issues involved in communication technology and its usefulness for people with speech-production difficulties). But – even if my ’emotional’ side (yes, autistic people do indeed have ’emotional’ sides) wanted to say ‘credo!’ – I learned to take a more impartial stance. One-off testing of things did not constitute scientific evidence that even the binary-choice codes we used with one of our clients was actually working – even if he was using the code we’d taught him simultaneously with that taught to him by the staff of the day activity centre he attended most days of the week. I can certainly admit that it makes me sad, for sure; but I’d rather have scientific evidence than just a hunch based on nothing standardised. And even if the person in question were my daughter (whom I love beyond what any words can describe; a feeling I have no doubt you experience for your own), I would rather use something for which the evidence of efficacy (i. e., proof that it works, inasmuch as there is absolute proof in science) than something for which there is no evidence of efficacy.

    General: By the same token, I’d like to ask James and Kim to try to be more empathic in how they relate what they know to Stanley. I’d say that it’s not going to help if he is bombarded with the stuff we know like it’s blindingly obvious: it may not be to him. And we know that – given his engineering background – we should be able to agree that he’s not an idiot. So, as scientists, it is our duty (when sharing what we know) to to present it in a way that it is easy enough for professionals in other disciplines to get and then apply in their own situations (work or otherwise). I would hope that, if we could adopt a more facilitative tone and approach – excuse what may be seen as a pun – it might be possible to encourage Stanley to try a number of protocols to find out for himself. And if he were to systematically record data from systematic observations and get statistical findings that were to confirm the hypothesis that independent communication is occurring and that the client is the originator of messages, that is certainly something that should be included in the journal for which I am an international associate editor. The Finnish Association of Speech & Language Therapists has made it a duty to publish for its members if anything in testing is found to be substantiated by the scientific method.

    David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    Psychologist (Teaching, Learning & Development) UK
    Psycho-Educational Consultant RoW
    Kotka, Finland.

  41. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 5, 2011 at 23:40 #

    longish comment in moderation, guys …

  42. stanley seigler July 6, 2011 at 03:59 #

    appreciate your time to provide interpretation of the “positions”…would have been more convincing if you had just pointed out where most positions said: “DO NOT use FC”

    and have difficulty agreeing with your POSITIONS interpretation when, TO REPEAT ASHA say:

    In the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) world there are catalogues full of communication devices and adaptive technology to enable a disabled person to communicate independently. However, many children and adults with autism and other disabilities do not respond as desired to the efforts of the communication specialist. They might perseverate and keep banging one key, or hit keys randomly, or throw the device, or not look at it, or type the same words repeatedly, or engage in any number of behaviors, none of which results in communication. THIS IS WHERE A FACILITATOR IS NECESSARY [caps my add] to help establish meaningful communication. http://asa.confex.com/asa/2009…..n4318.html

    and ASHA also say

    ” … it is the recommendation of this committee that speech-language pathologists and others who are or will be engaged in providing facilitated communication instruction should: 1. Receive state-of-the-art training in this method [FC] and also possess competency across the various aspects of AAC. etc, etc…” and;

    these ASHA comments do not confirm “particular” say FC should not be used…

    they all have CYA statements…which to me says they are not as sure as you…eg, “it appears”…and certainly disagree with your statement: “… studies have demonstrated very clearly…”oh/and;

    as pointed out here, popularity is not proof…ie, popularity of positions is NOT proof of anything but box thinking…

    re: I [DNA] am trying to explain – albeit in a matter of fact way (at least it’s not in such an openly nasty way as I was using the other year, and for which I am still ashamed).

    thanks…and where we are now…nasty is OK…believe we both now know it’s not personal…and maybe sometimes makes a point…i really dont believe it does…but who knows…

    re: I’d [DNA] like to ask James and Kim to try to be more empathic in how they relate what they know to Stanley. I’d say that it’s not going to help if he is bombarded with the stuff we know like it’s blindingly obvious

    mo thanks…but i really dont need todd/wom empathy…those they deny, with inaccurate hyperbole, need it…dont put yourself in their camp…believe their motives are different than yours…weel know you have to re FC…

    best, stanley

  43. stanley seigler July 6, 2011 at 04:01 #

    will try again tomorrow to post comments re DNA’s post…can anyone help: what am i doing wrong…

    stanley seigler

  44. Arthur Golden July 6, 2011 at 04:24 #

    I think the following messages I already posted on autismfc are responsive to “DNA” (live links only – please click on and read actual messages, including live links therein):

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/autismfc/message/2083
    Sent: Monday, July 04, 2011 2:43 PM
    D8. Facilitated Communication – research fraud by some of its opponents – Background statement

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/autismfc/message/2074
    Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 2:21 PM
    Retraction of message #1609 – “FC – I suspend encouraging its use”

    which includes a corrected version of message #2054
    FC (Facilitated Communication) & the most basic human right of LIFE (7 June 2011)

  45. stanley seigler July 6, 2011 at 05:10 #

    DNA,
    appreciate your time to provide an interpretation of the “positions”…would have been more convincing if you had just pointed out where most positions said: “DO NOT use FC”

    and have difficulty agreeing with your POSITIONS interpretation…when after saying “particular”, ASHA say:

    “In the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) world there are catalogues full of communication devices and adaptive technology to enable a disabled person to communicate independently. However, many children and adults with autism and other disabilities do not respond as desired to the efforts of the communication specialist. They might perseverate and keep banging one key, or hit keys randomly, or throw the device, or not look at it, or type the same words repeatedly, or engage in any number of behaviors, none of which results in communication. THIS IS WHERE A FACILITATOR IS NECESSARY [caps my add] to help establish meaningful communication.” http://asa.confex.com/asa/2009…..n4318.html

    and ASHA also say

    ” … it is the recommendation of this committee that speech-language pathologists and others who are or will be engaged in providing facilitated communication instruction should: 1. Receive state-of-the-art training in this method [FC] and also possess competency across the various aspects of AAC. etc, etc…” and;

    these ASHA comments do not confirm your “particular” saying FC should not be used…

    most positions have CYA statements…which to me says they are not as sure as DNA…eg, “it appears” (vice IT IS)…and certainly disagree with DNA statement: “… studies have demonstrated very clearly…not even clearly to me and others…oh/and

    as pointed out here (by others), popularity is not proof…ie, popularity of positions is NOT proof of anything but box thinking…

    re: I [DNA] am trying to explain – albeit in a matter of fact way (at least it’s not in such an openly nasty way as I was using the other year, and for which I am still ashamed).

    thanks…and where we are now…nasty is OK (believe we both have regrets)…believe we both now know it’s not personal…and maybe sometimes nasty makes a point…i really dont believe it does…but who knows…

    re: I’d [DNA] like to ask James and Kim to try to be more empathic in how they relate what they know to Stanley. I’d say that it’s not going to help if he is bombarded with the stuff we know like it’s blindingly obvious

    mo thanks…but i [stanley s] really doesnt need todd/wom empathy…those they deny communications of their choice, with inaccurate hyperbole, need it…dont put yourself in their camp…believe their motives are different than yours…weel guess you have to re FC…

    best, stanley s

  46. stanley seigler July 6, 2011 at 15:50 #

    BTW

    The Autism Society will kick off its 42nd annual conference on July 6, 2011, in Orlando Florida through July 9, 2011.
    […]
    This year’s highlights include: Three outstanding keynote sessions from Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center; New York Times best-selling author Shonda Schilling, wife of retired Boston Red Sox All-Star Curt Schilling; and a panel featuring Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, the [FC] stars of this spring’s most popular autism documentary, Wretches & Jabberers

  47. stanley seigler July 6, 2011 at 17:12 #

    [james todd say] “Recall that I have seen and met the stars of ‘Wretches and Jabberers.’ (WJ) I saw nothing in several hours of observation and interaction that would suggest all that typing attributed to them is theirs rather than their facilitators’…Here’s what also doesn’t make sense…etc.”

    COMMENT

    could do a better recall if wombles blog were available…but from a failing memory your WJ diss, was the same old antiFC hyperbole…

    “Here’s what also doesn’t make sense”: how did you [todd] conclude FC was a conspiracy of tracy/larry and their facilitators…what is the goal of the conspiracy…who is their svengali…

    i have not had the pleasure of larry and tracy’s company…but have had the pleasure (for 20-40 years) of my daughter’s, sue rubin’s, and a number (20-30) of their peers…needless to say, my observation suggest/was/is: FC works…and;

    it would take substantially longer than “several hours” (days, weeks, months maybe) to determine my daughter’s (and theirs) autism intelligence (AI) of which FC is an integral component…

    BTW/aside it seems many professional focus on…promote…their pet program (ABA) vice focusing on the person…

    stanley seigler

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