Author

Teodoro

Date of Award

6-1994

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Meinhold

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Armstrong

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Facilitated Communication (FC), is a new and controversial augmentative communication technique. This study examined the facilitated messages of six severely mentally impaired school children, produced under naturalistic, yet controlled, experimental conditions. The students were removed from the presence of their facilitators and experienced out-of-classroom events. When the students returned, their facilitators read descriptions containing True, False or No Information about the students' experiences. Messages produced in the ensuing facilitation sessions indicated that the facilitators influenced the facilitated messages, although they appeared unaware that they were doing so. Meanwhile, students showed little resistance to the testing procedures. Based on these results it was concluded that successes reported with FC as a means of augmenting the communication of language disabled individuals are likely illusory. Less controversial and very effective methods (e.g., operant based training techniques) should not be displaced by FC.

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Psychology Commons

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