Facilitated Communication (FC) is a controversial technique for helping those who cannot speak use a communication aid. A "facilitator" assists the person without speech in using a spelling board or keyboard to create words by either pointing out letters or typing on the keyboard. Controversy centers on who is actually communicating-the facilitators or their charges. Crossley is credited with developing FC, first used in the mid-1970s with Anne McDonnell, who was severely disabled and assumed to have a mental age of several months. By presenting the stories of numerous individuals she has worked with (she runs the DEAL Center for people with severe communications disabilities in Melbourne, Australia), Crossley chronicles and defends her development and use of FC with those lacking functional communication owing to autism, brain injuries, Down syndrome, and other disorders. She details and answers criticisms, paying particular attention to the use of the technique in the United States. Recommended for special collections.-Kate Kelly, Massachusetts General Hosp. Lib., Boston
Twenty years ago Crossley developed the technique by which people who
cannot speak because of neurological or other disorders can
communicate by typing on a keyboard with the assistance of a
professional facilitator. Here she chronicles her struggle to get the
approach accepted and used. Among other stories, she recounts that of
teenager Annie MacDonald, who later wrote "Annie's Coming Out".
Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.