Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Richard Attfield and FC (Facilitated Communication)
I initially entered a blogpost about facilitated communication. There were many skeptics who personally knew as much about facilitated communication as Marie, my beagle, but they DID know that it was not backed up by science. And so they simply dismissed it.
To me, few had anything, anything of value to say, except Larry---champion of the Underdog, and Richard Attfield, who spent most of his life wasting away in special ed classrooms until he learned how to get his mind out via facilitated communication at age 15. (He could not speak to communicate.)
He had help to direct his hands (weakened by Cerebral Palsy), and keeping on task. He now has sufficient strength/ability to type on his own, and fights to have other people realize that facilitated communication is a necessary step for some to type on their own, and the only way others can put their thoughts out. He is fighting the naysayers, as he has been fighting them all of his life.
Why should I care? Because of Paige, a student I had in the PMD classroom my first year of teaching. Until 2 teacher aides started teaching kids in the class to read, they had never been exposed to learning. Paige showed me some things, and in talking to her mother, we are convinced she is an average kid. She has a normal mind, and a very, very, very uncooperative body, like Richard, because of Cerebral Palsy.
Paige, dear, if you ever read this, Richard is just as kind and good as Kirk, remember him? You might have Mom read his story. God love you always , I will never forget you, and one day may get my rear in gear enough to figure out the next step, where we need to go next.
The picture above is the front cover of the book where Richard and others discuss their facilitated communication. All have at one time used it, some still do. And people try to say their lives are lie because there is no science behind it. To me, that's just rude.