Facilitated Communication and Autism Ranking: Mildly Hazardous Limited negative evidence


Facilitated communication Facilitated communication (also known as supported typing) is a form of augmentative and alternative communication in which someone physically supports an autistic person and helps him to point at pictures or words.

Facilitated communication is based on the idea that many of the difficulties faced by autistic people are due to movement difficulties rather than to social or communication difficulties.

The communication partner (usually called a facilitator) physically supports the autistic person so that he can point to pictures, symbols, letters and/or words using a computer keyboard or letter/picturebooks. By doing this, the autistic person can demonstrate what he wants to communicate.

Autistic people who use facilitated communication often use it as part of a total communication approach. For example, they may use it in combination with other methods of communication such as speech or sign language.

Our Opinion

There is a significant body of research evidence to show that facilitated communication is ineffective when used with people with autism.

There is also evidence that facilitated communication can lead to significant harm.

For these reasons we do not believe that it is an appropriate intervention for people with autism.


Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions

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06 Jul 2016
Last Review
01 Mar 2014
Next Review
01 Sep 2017