In a 2011 article, Rutgers-Newark professor Anna Stubblefield offered a staunch defense of the controversial communication method known as “facilitated communication”.
Autism Daily Newscast has covered a number of important stories involving autistics who use facilitated communication (FC). Carly Fleishmann is perhaps the most known in the public arena but there are many more.
The recent case of Sharisa Joy Kochmeister is a prime example of the rejection that FC has any validity. Sharisa Kochmeister is a 36-year-old college graduate who was diagnosed with autism, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy. And although she is non-verbal, she constantly communicated with both her father and sister through a computer, where she typed in the things she wanted to say using one finger.
Kochmeister was a member of the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council executive committee, and was once the president of the Autism National Committee (AutCom). While president of the AutCom she wrote these words as part of the policy statement on Facilitated Communications,
“It is hard enough to live in silence without anybody or anything making it harder or more uncomfortable.”
Amy Sequenzia has written quite extensively on the legitimacy of facilitated communications. Here is her article on how Facilitated Communication changed her life. She has commented that still some people question the validity of her experience and competence.