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Controversial Therapies for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities

Outline for Final Paper

Nhazanu Yekeh Pessima

Graduate School College of Education, Endicott College


Professor: David Rosenberg

December 22, 2023

The Effects of Facilitated Communication as one of the Fad Treatment on a child with Autism


I. Introduction

A. Brief overview of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

B. Introduction to Facilitated Communication (FC) as a fad treatment

C. Thesis statement: Examining the effects of FC on children with autism and its implications for their communication development

II. Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

A. Definition and characteristics of ASD

B. Communication challenges faced by individuals with autism

C. Importance of effective communication interventions for children with autism

III. Facilitated Communication: Origins and Controversies

A. Historical background of FC and its emergence as a treatment for autism

B. Theoretical foundations and principles behind FC

C. Controversies surrounding FC, including skepticism and criticism from the scientific community

IV. Case Studies: Examining the Experiences of Children with Autism and FC

A. Selection of case studies highlighting the use of FC in different settings

B. Presentation of positive outcomes reported by proponents of FC

C. Analysis of potential confounding variables and methodological flaws in these studies

V. Empirical Evidence: Research on Facilitated Communication

A. Overview of key research studies on FC and autism

B. Analysis of methodological approaches and study designs

C. Presentation of conflicting findings and limitations of existing research

VI. Ethical Considerations in the Use of Facilitated Communication

A. Ethical concerns related to the use of FC with non-verbal individuals

B. Exploration of issues such as authorship and potential for unintentional manipulation

C. Comparison of FC with evidence-based communication interventions in terms of ethical considerations

VII. Alternative Communication Interventions for Children with Autism

A. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) as evidence-based alternatives

B. Overview of AAC methods and their effectiveness

C. Comparison of FC with AAC in terms of empirical support and ethical considerations

VIII. Parental and Professional Perspectives on Facilitated Communication

A. Interviews with parents and professionals who have used or encountered FC

B. Examination of their perspectives on the efficacy and ethical implications of FC

C. Consideration of how parental beliefs may impact the choice of communication interventions for their children

IX. Implications for Practice and Policy

A. Recommendations for professionals working with children with autism

B. Considerations for policymakers and educational institutions

C. The need for evidence-based practices and continued research in the field of autism intervention

X. Conclusion

A. Summary of key findings and arguments presented in the article

B. Call for a balanced and evidence-based approach to communication interventions for children with autism

C. Final thoughts on the future of facilitated communication and its role in the broader context of autism treatment