Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 647–657

A naturalistic approach to the validation of facilitated communication


  • Elliott W. Simon
    • Elwyn, Inc.
  • Donna M. Toll
    • Elwyn, Inc.
  • Patricia M. Whitehair
    • Elwyn, Inc.

DOI: 10.1007/BF02172144

Cite this article as:
Simon, E.W., Toll, D.M. & Whitehair, P.M. J Autism Dev Disord (1994) 24: 647. doi:10.1007/BF02172144


By manipulating the facilitator's knowledge of a student's just-completed activity, facilitated communication ability and the extent of guiding were assessed. Seven students diagnosed with mental retardation and their facilitators participated in the study. All 7 students were purported at the start of the study to be communicating via facilitation at levels far above what was previously thought possible given their level of intellectual ability. A large degree of facilitator guiding was revealed for each of the 4 facilitators. Minimal evidence of facilitation was found for 4 of the 7 students. One of the 7 students demonstrated validated facilitated communication on two trials.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994