Essay about Facilitated Communication ( Fc ) Users

Essay about Facilitated Communication ( Fc ) Users

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For many years, there has been a controversy on whether facilitated communication (FC) users are actually the authors of their own thoughts or not. This has also raised issues of independence and intelligence of the FC user. Many people question the autistic person’s competence with FC and tend to assume they are ‘mentally retarded’. However, Sue Rubin (2001) who communicates through typing that has become independent with many years of physical support and Libby Grace (2015) who is an academic who often gives lectures and presentations verbally, but she also thinks about communication through writing prove to people whose assumptions of ‘mental retardation’ are wrong and with practice they can become independent FC users.
In the article, Independence, Participation, and the Meaning of Intellectual Ability by Rubin, Biklen, Kasa-Hendrickson, Kluth, Cardinal, and Broderick (2001), they discuss Sue Rubin’s process through FC. Just like Grace (2015) who is the author of Who Knows?, Rubin (2001) has also been to many conferences. “Able to type independently... my presen-tations (at conferences) were acts of advocacy,” she explains (Rubin & others, 2001, p. 5). While she attended these conferences, people began to see she really was competent of using FC on her own. Grace (2015) states that she believes people with their own personal experiences and people don’t go around asking them to prove if they’re really competent of speaking their own thoughts or not, but they will do this to people who are assumed to be incompetent since they can’t verbally speak (p. 12). “People who type to communicate have to prove that they are the authors of their own thoughts because so many others believe it is impossible for them to be thinking,” Gra...

... middle of paper ...

...rbal speaking people are just like Rubin (2001) in the sense that they weren’t able to think until they were able to communicate.
My attitude towards FC users has strengthened since the two readings and our discussions in class because I never really thought about FC users being independent; I’ve only seen them with a facilitator. This caused my thinking to wonder if they were really typing their own thoughts or not. However, after our discussion in class, I realize that verbal speaking people influence each other all the time, so it wouldn’t be shocking to me if the facilitator was unconsciously influencing the FC user. As for independent FC users, it is clear to me that they are the authors of their own thoughts because I have no doubt in my mind that non-verbal speaking people are independent, competent, and communicate through alternative modes of communication.

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