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November 1995

Evaluations of Children Who Have Disclosed Sexual Abuse via Facilitated Communication

Author Affiliations

The Center on Human Policy Syracuse University 200 Huntington Hall Syracuse, NY 13244-2340

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(11):1287-1288. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170240105029

I read the article by Botash et al1 in the December 1994 issue of the Archives with great interest. As a professional in the field of developmental disabilities and editor of the journal Mental Retardation, I have followed the controversy over facilitated communication (FC) and the partisan debate among professionals over the potential risks and benefits of this technique. It was indeed refreshing to read an article that attempted to shed light, rather than heat, on the controversial and sensationalistic issue of abuse allegations through FC.

In the field of developmental disabilities, professional opinion on the risks and benefits of FC is deeply divided.2,3 The American Psychological Association has adopted a position that FC poses threats to civil and human rights; the American Association on Mental Retardation and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association urge caution in the use of FC; and the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps supports