Facilitated communication, is one form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) that has been an effective means of expression for some individuals with labels of autism and other developmental disabilities. It entails learning to communicate by typing on a keyboard or pointing at letters, images, or other symbols to represent messages. Facilitated communication involves a combination of physical and emotional support to an individual who has difficulties with speech and with intentional pointing (i.e., unassisted typing).
Facilitated Communication is commonly referred to as FC. It is more appropriately referred to as Facilitated Communication Training and is one of many augmentative and alternative communication strategies that is used by some individuals who cannot speak or whose speech is limited and who cannot point reliably. The method involves a communication partner, typically called a facilitator (e.g. teacher, friend, parent) providing physical, communicative, and emotional support as the person points at pictures, letters, words, or other symbols.
Individuals with severe communication impairments that compromise their ability to point reliably, initiate movement, or organize sequenced movements may benefit from Facilitated Communication Training. This may include persons with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, apraxia, or other development disabilities, or neurological impairments.
DCCF offers a range of facilitated communication services including initial assessments for individuals, ongoing support sessions for new typers and their support person, skill building groups, district consultations and introductory trainings.