Facilitated communication: an experimental evaluation

J Autism Dev Disord. 1994 Jun;24(3):345-55. doi: 10.1007/BF02172232.


Nineteen participants in a day treatment program for the developmentally disabled participated in this validation study of facilitated communication (FC). Subjects and facilitators had been involved in FC and judged competent by supervisors of the FC project at the facility. An information-passing design was used requiring short-term recall of one randomly selected stimulus card at a time. Cards varied by the shape, the color of that shape, and the number of that shape used on each card. Results failed to validate facilitated communication for the group as a whole, any individual facilitator, or any of the subjects. The closeness of the results to chance expectations from an experiment designed to validate only the most elemental claims of FC suggests that extraordinary caution be accorded any claims of communication that are the sole product of FC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation
  • Communication Aids for Disabled*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results