Facilitated communication: The effects of facilitator knowledge and level of assistance on output

  • Marcia Datlow Smith
  • Pamela J. Haas
  • Ronald G. Belcher


Investigated facilitated communication with 10 adults with autism, and specifically examined the effects of facilitator influence and level of assistance as a function of facilitator knowledge of experimental stimuli. Six men and four women with autism served as subjects, ranging in age from 14 years to 51 years of age. Each subject had 6 experimental sessions, 2 with no help, 2 with partial assistance, and 2 with full assistance. Within each session, the facilitator had knowledge of the experimental stimuli in one half of the trials. Results revealed no cases of correct responding independent of facilitator knowledge of correct answers. Additionally, facilitator control was apparent in numerous cases in which typed output matched stimuli to which the facilitator, not the subject, had been exposed. Results suggest that clinical and educational use of the procedure should be curtailed pending further experimental investigation.


Experimental Investigation Correct Answer School Psychology Experimental Session Numerous Case 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcia Datlow Smith
    • 1
  • Pamela J. Haas
    • 1
  • Ronald G. Belcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Community Services for Autistic Adults and ChildrenRockville

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