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Facilitated Communication Training: Asking the appropriate research question

  • Marion Stanton (CandLE Ltd)

This session will reflect on the recent revival of the controversy around the practice of Facilitated Communication Training (FCT). Some research studies have been unable to demonstrate that people who use FCT to access communication aids are the authors of what they have expressed and have concluded that the message is being influenced by the facilitator. The approach has been pronounced invalid by some practitioners on these grounds.


This session will examine findings which have concluded that FCT is an invalid approach and the research behind this will be scrutinised for the soundness of their methodology. A number of studies that support the use of FCT will also be examined.


A number of research studies that have been quoted to support the notion that FCT is an invalid approach are themselves methodologically flawed. There are also a number of research questions which have not been asked in relation to FCT.


This session will propose that FCT has not been found to be an invalid approach but will also support the contention that facilitator influence does exist and propose protocols that should be followed to enable FCT to, nonetheless, be of benefit to a number of AAC users.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages