Facilitated Communication Training, Appendix 3
13.3. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF FACILITATION
1. Monitor eye contact
Check that the individual you are facilitating is looking at the communication display or keyboard. The development of eye-hand co-ordination and self-monitoring skills is essential if support is to be reduced.
2. Monitor output
Let the communication aid user know if you are not getting the message. If someone types a string of consonants with no vowels encourage them to erase it and start over from the last intelligible item. Sometimes individuals produce rubbish when they are not sure what to say — perhaps the question needs clarification or the conversation needs more structure.
3. Pull back
Not one of the hand function problems listed above is assisted by pushing the aid user’s hand forward. Many are helped by providing resistance, pulling back or slowing down the aid user. A habit of pulling back or providing resistance protects facilitators against accidentally leading the aid user to an answer.
4. Reduce support
The aim of facilitated communication training is independent aid use. The amount of facilitation used should be reviewed frequently. It should always be the minimum needed for successful aid use.
5. Don’t over-interpret
Be aware that any meaning you place on a string of consonants without a vowel or a string of nouns without a verb is your interpretation. “Mummy milk”may be easy to interpret accurately; “Man knife” is not..
6. Don’t believe everything you’re told
People with disabilities are just as prone to exaggerate, fantasize, and lie as the rest of us. An inherently improbable statement does not become true just because it is typed.