Today non-verbal children and adults with autism are being introduced to iPads. But it was not always so. In fact first attempts to help people with autism communicate via pointing using letterboards, using typewriters and the early hand held communication devices were slammed by most autism experts who claimed everything from these being a threat to the person ever developing verbal speech to insisting entire schools and residential settings had the right to banish the use of communication devices by people with autism. Today we have so many accessible online videos of functionally non-verbal adults communicating via communication technologies who began their communication through facilitated communication and progressed sometimes not only to independent typing but sometimes even to speech.
Today, it seems almost insane that non autistic professionals and parents had had such fear and hysteria about this groups potential to use typed communication, especially if facilitated by anyone else. In this video I introduce the viewer to some of the reasons why some functionally non verbal people with autism have confused their audience into believing there was no point trialling typed communication. I introduce some resources where people can look at wonderful examples of facilitated and augmented communication in action. Finally, I speak about the role of hand over hand, though respectfully indirectly confrontational training in a range of self help and communication skills which put FC into a broader, more understandable context.
for more information I would recommend the following resources:
Donna Williams, BA Hons, Dip Ed.
Author, artist, singer-songwriter, screenwriter.
Autism consultant and public speaker. http://www.donnawilliams.net
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