Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Panel #24
CE Offered: BACB — 
An Inquisition of Facilitated Communication
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Jason Travers, Ph.D.
Chair: Jason Travers (University of Kansas)
JAMES T. TODD (Eastern Michigan University)
GINA GREEN (Association of Professional Behavior Analysts)
CHRISTOPHER HURLEY (Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.)
Abstract: Facilitated communication, also known as "supported typing" and "rapid prompting method”, are becoming increasingly popular. To date, no evidence exists for the validity of either of these methods and facilitated communication remains clearly refuted. Despite proclamations to the contrary, no person has become an independent author of thoughts via these methods. Nonetheless, both methods have been endorsed by various professionals, parents, advocacy groups, government agencies, and university faculty. A growing anti-ABA sentiment stems largely from allegations made by users of these methods and have been disseminated by academic journals, professional and research conferences, and online media. Given facilitated communication is classified as potentially harmful, simply listing it (and others) as a method for professionals to avoid appears only a partially effective prophylactic. Professional behavior analysts may better adhere to their ethical obligation to abstain from unproven practices if prepared to recognize and respond to arguments from proponents of pseudoscientific and disproven interventions. Accordingly, an inquisition of panelists will be conducted to reveal common tactics used by proponents of facilitated communication. Panelists will respond to unrehearsed lines of questioning to demonstrate ways to respond to arguments for this and other disproven or controversial interventions.
Keyword(s): Autism, Communication, Developmental Disabilities, Ethics



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