Facilitated communication (FC) is the process used to help nonverbal individuals with severe autism to express themselves by typing with the help of a designated “facilitator.” In dealing with those labeled “autistic,” the facilitator’s role is to offer physical and emotional support to the nonverbal person, who then transmits his or her responses either through typing or some other means, such as word cards. Sometimes the facilitator lends a hand, wrist, or arm for support. At other times, the facilitator simply sits next to the typist and focuses on the keyboard and the material being typed.
At this point, FC remains a controversial process. Physical and emotional support are obviously part of the process, but my experience tells me that there is also a complex energetic and telepathic aspect. In fact, my observations have raised many unanswered questions that I hope will inspire further study. For example:
- Why do I usually hear the word or words in my head before they are typed?
- Why do I need to know the questions being asked?
- When another facilitator and I support the same person, why do the typist’s responses to open-ended questions sometimes differ?
- When I give support to several nonverbal typists at the same time, why do they resonate with each other to the point of being able to complete each other’s sentences?
- Why are the typists I work with restricted by the language I speak, my vocabulary, and my knowledge base?
Skeptics simply dismiss the process of Facilitated Communication-FC, as facilitator motor influence-Clever Hans Syndrome, or the act of subconsciously giving an animal or person the necessary cues to complete a task. But when the typist is striking the correct keys without arm or wrist support, but still requires a person to touch or sit next to him in order to communicate, both skeptics and supporters are at a loss for an explanation. Supporters say the person is typing independently, even though he is dependent on proximity control and a shared focus. They suggest that the person sitting next to him is merely there to provide emotional support. Yet my sense from my own experience is that there is an energetic merging of consciousness that goes deeper than simple telepathy. This occurs with or without arm support, but in my experience, my intent and focus actually increase when physical support is not given and the communication through typing is solely dependent on proximity control for its expression.
Recently, one of my nonverbal friends typed me a facilitated message in which she told me that she was impressing images on my brainstem and that I was instantaneously and unconsciously finding the right words for the thought forms she was impressing. If that’s true, that would explain why I hear each word in my head right before she types it. She also suggested that she accesses and transmits messages from higher spiritual realms in a similar fashion. She first receives an impression from the higher realm and then impresses it upon my brainstem. This viewpoint helps explain some of my unanswered questions, as mentioned above. For example:
- Why are messages often spiritual in nature?
- Why are nonverbal individuals with autism restricted by the language, knowledge base, bias, and vocabulary of the facilitator?
- The person with autism seems to have access to his partner’s knowledge base. Is facilitator’s range of knowledge what limits the range of expression?
- Why do my biases sometimes leak through?
Since facilitators have a stronger hold on ego-based thought, they should constantly guard against allowing their individual biases to influence the person typing. Contradictory opinions are often typed when the same facilitator pairs with different partners. My passion is to help autistic individuals strengthen their conscious egos so that they can express their opinions without being influenced by other sources. Until then, I continue to acknowledge facilitator influence as a possibility. In the meantime, important decisions or opinions that potentially impact nonverbal individual or other people need additional validation through having the typist answer important questions with multiple partners. Observation of body language, behavior, and alternate independent forms of communication also need to be used.
My personal feeling about this partnership is that it can potentially enhance the facilitator’s higher self and soul knowledge. But as enticing and exciting as this may be, it depends on its acknowledgement as a possibility and needs to be consciously explored. The process is complex and truly fascinating. In my own experience, the responses to questions I’ve received sometimes come across as metaphorical or visual. There are also times when I seem to understand more than just the words I hear, and my understanding takes the form of a direct kind of knowing that’s difficult to describe in words. In those moments, my simple mind is receiving a minute glimpse of the interdimensional interplay of a multitude of thought forms, all racing to the surface for expression but limited by my individual knowledge base, understanding, and the restrictions of our language-based system of communication. I view this type of communication as their gift to me, and deeply appreciate it, but I do not believe it should supercede my commitment to help them feel more comfortable in their bodies and strengthen their conscious based thoughts and decisions.
These experiences leave me wanting to know more about this expanded consciousness and mode of communication. The implications it has for our evolution are enormous. Imagine, for example the benefit of pairing these insightful souls with specialists, those with precise knowledge in various fields and the vocabulary needed to explain it. For instance, researchers working on a cure for cancer could learn to partner with these brilliant souls, who would then be able to add insight to their findings and enhance their present level of understanding.
As a curious person who has experienced this phenomenon with many nonverbal children and adults, I want to know how it works! These amazing souls have so much to teach us. It’s time to give them a chance to prove themselves, which begins with honestly and openly exploring and discussing all aspects of their mind-boggling and truly amazing reality. I would love to come together with others who use FC and similar partner dependent strategies, such as Rapid Prompting Method (RPM), and who are willing to let go of their preconceived ideas and ask these amazing souls to help us understand. It astounds me that people are not coming out of the woodwork to share this amazing dynamic. But until then, and whether or not they do, I will continue to pose questions to my friends with autism, both individually and collectively, and to share with them the intuitive thoughts that pass between us.
If you have any interest in sharing your experience, please feel free to get in touch or comment.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein