A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon

A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon

A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon

A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon


"A landmark contribution.... Must-reading for anyone concerned with autism, the FC phenomenon, &, beyond that, the psychology of belief." Bernard Rimland Director, Autism Research Institute in San Diego "FC suffers from the same complaints that early ape language studies had to face. FC also lacks the same kinds of control tests of comprehension that ape language studies lacked. It's time for FC to acknowledge this & begin a rigorous self-evaluation. Twachtman-Cullen makes the starting line clear." Sue Savage-Rumbaugh Georgia State University


It is a privilege to open this intriguing book. Diane Twachtman-Cullen is an experienced professional who has made important contributions over the years by analyzing the professional literature and identifying the most relevant information for her audiences. the analytic skill, judgment, high ethical standards, and solid scholarship that have been evident in all of her work also characterize this book's approach to one of the more difficult issues the field of autism has addressed in the past fifty years, facilitated communication (FC).

In this volume Dr. Twachtman-Cullen presents an in-depth analysis of fc in the context of the larger movement it represents. Understanding the essence of the controversies, Dr. Twachtman-Cullen continually reminds the reader of the most central issues. Her penetrating analysis of fc is reasonable, logical, and compelling.

Although this book's careful analysis of fc should be more than enough justification to read it, it is much more than a chronicle of the fc movement. in its short history the field of autism has had more than its share of small groups vehemently advocating extreme positions. fc followers are among the most influential of those groups, and they have exacted a substantial toll from the parents and professionals involved with the problems of autism. Dr. Twachtman-Cullen writes with unique insight and courage about the fc phenomenon. a careful reading of this book provides an understanding of why movements such as fc spring up in the field of autism and what forces help to maintain them. During the time when fc was having its greatest impact, I had numerous discussions with Dr. Twachtman- Cullen, and I remember how helpful I found her thoughtfulness, objectivity, and curious skepticism. She remained open to the possibility that fc represented a new breakthrough but determined to require adequate corroboration. This book reminds me of those refreshing discussions, full of openness and expectations but maintaining a solid commitment to reason and substance.

This book will be one of the major works in the field, serving to remind us of the fc phenomenon and its short but explosive history. It also has appeal because of its thorough and systematic analysis and verification of FC--a model of penetrating thinking and evaluation. For the field of autism, Twachtman-Cullen's greatest contribution might be her explana-

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