facilitated communication

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facilitated communication

A form of behavioural therapy that may be successful in treating some cases of autism. In facilitated communication (FC), a helper holds or braces the hands or arms of person with autism, who uses one finger to type words on a keyboard, a task that initially is impossible in autistic persons; with time the facilitator reduces his or her control over the autistic person’s movement, the expectation being that the autistic person will eventually initiate movement and activities spontaneously. Despite some enthusiasm for the method, many experts are unconvinced that FC is truly effective, and its reported success may be more related to observer expectancy than with any form of therapeutic breakthrough.

fa·cil·i·ta·ted com·mu·ni·ca·tion

(fă-sil'i-tā-tĕd kŏ-myū'ni-kā'shŭn)
Method in which people who are unable to communicate effectively are aided by a facilitator who physically assists them to use augmentative communication systems (e.g., communication board or typewriter).
See: augmentative and alternative communication
See also: communication board