You are here

An Examination of the Relationship Between Looking and Pointing in Facilitated Communication using Eye-Tracking

  • Anne Emerson
  • Andrew Grayson

Facilitated Communication (FC) has mostly been investigated through message-passing studies which have shown facilitator influence. This is a novel attempt to investigate the level of communicator involvement in the process.

The timings of finger movements toward a screen were compared with eye-gaze at to-be-typed letters as participants were facilitated to spell words and phrases. From a total of 35 participants, data was gathered from nine people with autism. Eight people show longer fixations on relevant to-be-typed letters than irrelevant. Some participants show patterns of looking at letters before starting to move towards them.

The data indicate that some users of FC are involved in the process of communicating through FC at a level which suggests more than facilitator influence as an explanation of the phenomenon.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages
Primary school
Secondary school transition
Further/Higher Education