Time for my promised close, critical look at specific instances of facilitated communication—FC for short.
But first, a preliminary note. In being critical in what is an extremely sensitive area, I don’t want to reveal names of kids and parents. I’ll provide links to material that’s been made publicly available–stuff posted on the Internet, mostly by or in collaboration with family members. But in what I write here, I’ll be avoiding names or abbreviating them.
It’s now time, in this series on autism, neurodiversity, and language learning, to return to two key criteria for autism in the most recent DSM (the DSM V), each of them tapping into deficits in what’s called Joint Attention:
(I, too, am making a comeback, after suddenly becoming intensely busy with a small NSF grant–more on that later).
This post continues a series I’ve promised would take us to “highly contagious and dangerously inaccurate meme about what autism is.”
(Part VII in a series of posts that will soon take us to a highly contagious and dangerously inaccurate meme about what autism is.)
In my previous posts, I’ve made the following points:
–How much language you acquire, including how much language you comprehend, is correlated with how much attention you’ve paid, over the years, to other people’s speech and to what they are looking at and doing when speaking.
–Deficits in these attention behaviors, which are examples of what’s called Joint Attention, are among the core symptoms of autism. (If you don’t have deficits here, the diagnosis doesn’t apply).
–Therefore, the ability to acquire language and understand what other people saying is correlated with the severity of autism.
(Part VI in a series of posts that will soon take us to a highly contagious and dangerously inaccurate meme about what autism is.)
In my previous post, I discussed how there might be factors besides Joint Attention deficits that could contribute to the failure to acquire spoken language. As I wrote:
(Part V in a series of posts that will eventually take us to a highly contagious and dangerously inaccurate meme about what autism is.)
My previous post drew a connection between the severity of autism (whose diagnostic measures include Joint Attention behaviors) and the severity of the language impairment associated with autism. This connection, I suggested, explains why a significant proportion of people on the spectrum (somewhere around 25%) are nonverbal.