My cousin is not a Ouija board.

Facilitated communication is supposed to be a process by which a facilitator helps a non-speaking person speak. It’s often used with autistic children. The facilitator holds the person’s hand and helps them move their finger to the keys on the keyboard so that they can type.

Sound familiar? Facilitated communication is essentially using a human being as a Ouija board. The most disturbing thing is not that facilitators give false hope to parents of nonverbal children, or that they make money by writing books that they claim are written by their patients; it’s that they are taking advantage of people with disabilities and putting words in their mouths that are not theirs. What a way to obscure the fact that these people can’t communicate (or at least can’t be understood). If it’s this easy, it can be done with any nonverbal person! Autistic people, coma patients, people who are, uh, asleep…

The longer this is taken seriously, the less people will pay attention to the real concerns, needs, and rights of people whose disabilities prevent them from communicating.