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Author Topic: In My Language
Stray
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In this video on YouTube, an autistic woman "translates" her language/way of thinking into English. I found it absolutely fascinating. The first few minutes might drag a bit, but I think it's well worth it.
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Kama
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It really was fascinating.
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skillery
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I wonder how she would interact with super glue.
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ketchupqueen
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That touched me profoundly. As a non-autistic person with fairly "mild" Sensory Processing Disorder (it has been said that all autistic people have SPD, but not everyone with SPD is even on the autistic "scale"; that's me, I'm odd but within the range of "normal"), I actually found myself craving the freedom to "interact with things" in that way. When I was a baby, toddler, even preschooler I used to. By the time I got to elementary school I learned that my craving of different sensory experiences than others sought got me scolded and ridiculed by many, and I stopped. (Unlike my brother, I did not require occupational therapy to be able to function within "normal" limits.) I still have times, though, when in private I allow myself to seek out the sensory input I am craving and when I am emotionally distraught or in pain my husband tells me that I sometimes, even in my sleep, will do "strange" things. There are also times when the world is overwhelming and I have to withdraw to not become overloaded. I really sympathized with the craving to interact with everything portrayed in that video, as well as the frustration of the definition of "normal functioning" by many people and how it defines their worldview. I don't pretend to understand the hurt she must feel at being de-personified, because I haven't felt it. But I do empathize.
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cmc
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That video was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it.
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Tante Shvester
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Reminds me of one of my friends. You'd have no idea how much is going on inside until you get some of his poetry in your inbox.
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Survivor
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Did anyone else find that kind of a boring video?

I mean, the fundamental problem with all of it is that everything being viewed through the camera is a "have to be there, or even be me" sort of experience. Of course you can't experience water by watching it in a video (though you can sort of apprehend it by watching a slow motion computer model). Heck, part of the problem is that most humans can't even experience water by swimming in it. Your minds are too controlled by formalistic definitions of the concept to appreciate the complexity of the experience itself...or something like that.

But in the video, almost nothing of the experience itself remains to begin with. Certainly none of the interaction between environment and body, the very core of all active experience, can be captured by a camera. It's like a video of the outside of a computer housing while the computer does something amazing or other like calculating the future evolution of the Milky Way. The computer might not even be turned on, might not even be a computer from what you can see by looking at the housing. Even if you look at it for eight minutes.

On the other hand, the singing was interesting, if a little repetitive.

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Celaeno
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I showed this to my roommate who's a psych major, and she brought up all the problems with facilitated communication which is what appears to be going on here.

Any thoughts?

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ClaudiaTherese
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I find this a beautiful and powerful creative work.

That is separate from my lack of being convinced (for lack of a better word) that facillitated communication gives an accurate representation of what it is purported to represent.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Zeugma:
I'm confused, are people suggesting that she's not really writing this stuff? Cause there's a video on her blog of her typing out a response to such an accusation here...

Zeugma, she is typing something, and then the camera is taken to the screen. Why not have the camera pan back and forth between her and her hands and the screen? (This would be more convincing to me, as I have no idea what was on the screen before she began typing. Of course, she doesn't exist to convince me! I am the last of her worries, thankfully. But you did ask.)

[Edited to add: and there seemed to be someone else handling the camera at parts of her [initially referenced] video. But maybe not, and maybe she just isn't interested in doing it that way.]

I know it is distasteful to suggest deceit, and that isn't what I want to do. I mean to explain why I am not convinced. I can't imagine anyone who has seen the research on FC would be.

Of course, that doesn't mean it doesn't work, perhaps for a very few people, perhaps not. I just don't have reason to believe in it, and I have plenty of tested reasons not to.

---

Religious Tolerance dot Org takes a decidedly moderate stance

and APA's Psychology Matters online summarizes the research:

quote:
Controlled scientific studies also revealed that if one posed a simple question to a child with severe autism, the child could only answer the question when the facilitator knew the answer. For example, if the facilitator could not see a simple object that the child was asked to name, the child could not name it. Highly trained facilitators who had elicited sophisticated answers from their patients in the past could no longer do so when they were prevented from knowing what the patients were being asked.

The short version of this long story is that study after study showed that facilitated communication didn’t really work. Apparently, the positive results that had generated so much enthusiasm were the results of a subtle process in which well-intended facilitators were answering questions themselves – without any awareness that they were doing so.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what I think. That doesn't change whether this blog has excellent writing and a message worth reading, regardless of where it came from. And I am certainly not going to be going around writing critical and accusatory (and very offensive, I'm sure) comments on her or anyone's blog. Why? It would serve no purpose.

But since the subject came up here, I will mention my thoughts.

[ January 31, 2007, 12:30 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Teshi
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I didn't see anyone else in the video, the camera was always still, as if propped, and when she sat to type at the computer, she typed swiftly and without prompting. What about the video made you think it wasn't her speaking, typing or commenting underneath the video?
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
mean, the fundamental problem with all of it is that everything being viewed through the camera is a "have to be there, or even be me" sort of experience. Of course you can't experience water by watching it in a video (though you can sort of apprehend it by watching a slow motion computer model). Heck, part of the problem is that most humans can't even experience water by swimming in it. Your minds are too controlled by formalistic definitions of the concept to appreciate the complexity of the experience itself...or something like that.

But in the video, almost nothing of the experience itself remains to begin with. Certainly none of the interaction between environment and body, the very core of all active experience, can be captured by a camera. It's like a video of the outside of a computer housing while the computer does something amazing or other like calculating the future evolution of the Milky Way. The computer might not even be turned on, might not even be a computer from what you can see by looking at the housing. Even if you look at it for eight minutes.

Maybe it's a "have to have been there" thing, but I almost felt the things she was doing. Mainly because I have done similar things, maybe (a long time ago, but I have.)
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ClaudiaTherese
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Teshi and Zeugma, this is not a fight I want to pick. This could get very ugly very fast, and there is no good (I think) that can come of it.

I am not convinced that facilitated communication does what it purports to do. That's it. In this video, she seems to write something which she might well have written, but it is also not facilitated communication in the usual sense. Of note, it is also not the same level of writing elsewhere on her blog, which is quite polished.

Teshi, although there was nobody clearly handling the camera in this video, there seems to have been camera management in her other videos, so it is possible that someone could have been used here as well, in order to make it more clear what was happening.

But should she have to do it the way I want her to do it? No! Why should she? She should be able to put whatever she wants up on YouTube or hosted on her own site, so long as it isn't illegal. She owes me nothing.

I am trying to explain to you why I am not convinced about facilitated communication in general, and why I am also left with some puzzles about this video demonstration. You don't have to address them, she doesn't have to address them, nobody has to address them.

---

Edited to add: Although, if we are going to discuss FC (which, in the traditional sense, the linked snippet is not), it might be worth looking at the research and the responses to it, and evaluating whether or not those are convincing separately from her "In My Language" video. That is a separate issue, I think, and it has great worth regardless of how it was produced or by whom.

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ClaudiaTherese
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I don't think it's impossible for her to have written what was in the snippet. [And which is significantly different in style and polish than what is written elsewhere in the blog. Is it impossible for her to have written all of that -- many long, involved, intricate posts -- and have polished it to a pristine gloss? Sure, possible. Without looking at the screen? Maybe. But she does mention using facilitated communication at times, to some extent, and I have reason to be wary of that process. I don't know what her "polishing" looks like. But it doesn't matter.]

I also don't think my opinion is worth fighting about, do you?

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Teshi
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I'm sorry if I came across as wanting a fight. I don't. Although I was intially surprised and skeptical at the woman's typing abilities, I am inclined to believe what I see is real; an autistic woman who cannot speak but can type.

I know very little about the field of Facilitated Communication and have no doubt that it can cause problems. I've seen parents interpret their (normal) children hastily, so I know it can happen.

My question here was not about Facilitated Communication but about what in the video made you think that this woman was being "helped" in her creation of the video/her communication, since I did not see any evidence of that.

I didn't know we were fighting [Smile] .

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Zeugma:
I absolutely believe that this writing is coming from her. You don't, and given that you've got much more experience with such things, I'm wondering what I'm missing. [Smile] [emphasis added]

Perhaps it would make sense to distingish between "I believe she isn't doing it" and "I don't 'absolutely believe' that she is doing it." In other words, I reserve judgment. I do this because the more polished and detailed writing is attributed at least in part (not clear how much) to facilitated communication, which has been thoroughly discredited from being externally validated.

And then you ask me (or seem to) why this other snippet doesn't convince me. It doesn't convince me because I am not sure what to make of it. I don't know how to state it any more clearly than that. I don't know how to analyze it without seeing the screen at the same time, and I have no idea how one (regardless of videoediting experience) would assess that.

I read a good deal of her blog this morning. I read through all 47 posts on communication, both post on asthma, all posts on various topics since last November, viewed the illustrated porfotlio on the various institutions she has been in (also very powerful and moving), read through her response to an editorial in response to a call (on private email) for validation of the ASD diagnosis before speaking at conferences, and so on and so on.

I read a lot of her stuff, including her responses to various criticisms. I watched periurban's excellent and thoughtful YouTube response to In My Language (~10min). I sat and thought, and I thought about what I know about FC, and I thought about how sometimes the message is more important (in some cases, to some people) than the strict veracity of it, and I decided not to even post on this thread. I didn't know what to make of it, and I figured posting honestly would be seen as an attack -- which it has. [At least, what I worked hard to keep noncommittal is seen as a rejection, which would be an attack of sorts on her and her work.]

That is, in summary, I have said that I have reservations about FC but that does not mean I don't think IML is a powerful creative piece. When asked about the snippet, I tried to explain why it wasn't enough to outweigh my skepticism about the other writing, and I've specifically acknowledged that this isn't (and shouldn't) be relevant to the author or your enjoyment of her work.

I haven't made positive claims about her work itself. I've explained why I reserve judgment. How can this be made more clear?

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
I'm sorry if I came across as wanting a fight. I don't.

I don't think we are fighting. I think it is, however, a politically and emotionally charged subject, and the potential for misreadings and harsh suppositions is high.
quote:
My question here was not about Facilitated Communication but about what in the video made you think that this woman was being "helped" in her creation of the video/her communication, since I did not see any evidence of that.
Where did I say I thought she was being "helped"? [In case you haven't come across it yet, she acknowledges using facilitated communication to some extent and at some times in some of her work. She doesn't specify how much. Not that she needs to, but just for clarity's sake. I am not attributing FC to her work -- she does herself, to whatever (unspecified) extent.]
quote:
I didn't know we were fighting [Smile] .

I would prefer to keep it that way, myself. [Smile]
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ClaudiaTherese
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Also for clarification: I think Celaeno's friend mentioned FC because Amanda Baggs (i.e., silentmiaow) is one of the most cited current proponents of it, and her work is taken by some to be proof of its success as a technique. In part this is why I immediately distingished between my reactions to IML and my conclusions about FC.
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rivka
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As an aside, my reaction to the video (before reading any part of this thread except the OP) was, "That looks like facilitated communication" -- which I did a fair bit of research on a few years back. Whether or not it is being abused in this case (and it very well may not be), I have seen cases where the communication that is being "facilitated" is coming entirely (if not necessarily consciously) from the facilitator.

But really, that's just a side point. Because actually, I take issue with the message of the video, regardless of whose message it is.

Language, by definition, means interacting with other organisms (most commonly but not exclusively those of one's own species) in a manner which communicates with them. It doesn't have to be verbal -- a hug is a perfectly valid form of communication. But to be language, it does have to be understandable by other living things.

Interacting with water, air, surfaces -- these are absolutely valid ways of being in the world and learning about it. But they are not communication.

Does this make someone who cannot (or chooses not to) communicate with others "not a person"? Absolutely NOT! But claiming equivalence of this "language" and actual communication does a disservice to both.

The video claims that it is inequitable to only consider more typical forms of communication language. Perhaps it is. But it is nonetheless true. Consider this: if the video has stopped after the first 3 minutes, what would you think of it? And if those 3 minutes are all language, why is there not an actual translation? (Explanation, yes. Translation, no.)

Autistic individuals can be extremely intelligent, unquestionably. And some learn (or are naturally "high functioning") to communicate with other people. But those who do not ARE in "their own world." Not in the sense that they are not aware of the world around them, but because they cannot share their world with others, or share in the world that others perceive. So truly their world is theirs alone.

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Kama
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I don't have anything to add to this (and I know next to nothing about the subject), but thanks for your explanations CT and for your post, rivka -- it was very interesting to read your viewpoints.
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Tante Shvester
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I have a friend who uses facilitated communication (he can type on the computer independently, though, which is why I sometimes get emails). I've seen him communicate with his mom this way, and seeing that interaction lessened my skepticism. She had to ask him to repeat himself a few times, and then when she "got" it, made a comment that sometimes his spelling was just a little too "creative" for her sometimes (his spelling IS pretty weird, plus he has lots of typos). Also, she seemed genuinely surprised at some of the stuff he was saying. They were arguing back and forth (he wanted her to buy him something that she found to be inappropriate, if I recall correctly). Before seeing the FC in action, I was hugely skeptical. Now I am only moderately skeptical.
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Mucus
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I'm confused even after watching the video and checking the article on FC at Wikipedia.

The problem is that the article introduction gives a brief one paragraph description. However, most of the article is devoted to controversy about the method.

What exactly is the procedure for FC and what does it entail? What level of support is normally given and given to the girl in the video?

Sorry if this question is a bit basic and I'm missing something obvious.

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Language, by definition, means interacting with other organisms (most commonly but not exclusively those of one's own species) in a manner which communicates with them. It doesn't have to be verbal -- a hug is a perfectly valid form of communication. But to be language, it does have to be understandable by other living things.

I agree with this, but I'd add that to be language (verbal or otherwise), it also has to possess syntax.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
What exactly is the procedure for FC and what does it entail? What level of support is normally given and given to the girl in the video?

Different people use the term to mean different things. In the most traditional and classical sense, a facilitator with a non- (or minimally-) communicative person supports his or her arm and plays a game with typing out words. [Initially, the facilitator has to provide the intent to the communication, because the individual either doesn't know what these movements are for or can't do them him/herself -- thus the need for help.]

[Added: Of note, Amanda Baggs states that she did not start typing with facilitated communication, but rather taught herself to type at a school media lab. Since then she has used various forms of FC to a greater or lesser extent, depending on need. I did not want the above discussion of how FC typically works to mislead you about how she specifies it initially came into play for her.]

Over time, the facilitator is supposed to pull back from controlling the interaction and end up just supporting the arm, to whatever extent is necessary. It is stated that sometimes, after sufficient time, the facilitator may move out of the interaction entirely, leaving the individual to do the typing (or other use of assisted device).

Some people use the term to refer to any input at all that is deemed helpful to facilitate use of an assisted device, including a light finger pressure on a pressure point on the shoulder. Amanda Baggs has (AFAIK) not specified exactly what and how much FC she uses, although she has noted that her need for it varies greatly depending on the day, her emotional state, her physiology, and many other variables. She doesn't specify that she does not use other persons or for how much involvement, but she has written that she uses inanimate objects which relate to her.

She has also noted that her cat is her most longstanding facilitator, and that the cat knows when she needs certain touches or support and will lean on just the right places. Again, though she does go into detail in some areas, she does not go into detail on areas that may be of more interest to detailed questioners. (For whatever reason. And I'm not says she should, or that she owes it to anybody, or anything of the like. I'm just saying that she doesn't.)

I am curious about who did the camerawork for some of her videos, who did the videoclip editing with fading in and out, text placement, etc. It seems to me that it would take some level of fine motor control and ability to focus on the screen for extended periods of time. However -- note this! -- I also wouldn't say that any of you who made a video and had assistance with the editing "hadn't made the video." So, regarding whether she had assistance with editing and camerawork, it doesn't really matter. It is just another area that I got curious about and couldn't find specific information on.

By the way, the item that got me looking more closely to see what FC was going on in this case and who used it was reading her 2 posts about asthma.*** Her language about how the physicians were in error and her mother (a respiratory therapist) was right, and the detailing of why RTs deserve more respect than they get from the physicians, rang an odd note in my head. I am used to hearing family members (fully functioning and well-educated family members, even science-trained) talk about their medically-trained family members, and it didn't seem like this. Not that they get it wrong, but the focus of the discussion was different. The flavor was different. I don't know how to qualify it, and I don't take it as proof of anything at all. I just add it to explain why my brain did a double-take and clicked over into "how is this getting communicated, exactly?" mode.

So I read more, couldn't get a handle on what specifically was happening overall, and then decided to reserve judgment. And enjoy the work regardless.

---

***Hmmm. But when I just went back to reread the two linked posts on asthma, I don't see the section I was describing, where she focuses on her mother having had only 2 years of training (as versus, IIRC, medical school and residency), but "10 years of working with lungs." It must have been elsewhere in her blog.

For what it's worth, I agree with the sentiment expressed. I was just surprised by how it was expressed, and I can't explain that easily. (Certainly not if I cannot find it.)

[ January 31, 2007, 02:30 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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ClaudiaTherese
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By the way, I had the same reaction as rivka and Noemon to the use of the term "language" in IML. I had to make a conscious decision to view it as metaphor, even if that isn't how it is intended. Afterward, I really loved the video. The humming, the fluttering paper and flicking water -- I found it absorbing. Not "language," as noted above, but fascinating and moving for other reasons.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Not "language," as noted above, but fascinating and moving for other reasons.

Agreed.
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Survivor
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I don't know what brought up "facilitated communication" in this topic. Nothing like that was evident in the video, at least.

Autistic people often interact with each other at a high level, if they share the same environment. That interaction is often highly communicative, though not as formalistic as what humans generally call "language". And autistic individuals use "langage" in ways that appear very idiosynchratic to normal humans but are highly accessable and understandable to some other autistic individuals.

No, not all "autistic" persons share the same language, but this is because "autism" is a label invented and applied by normal humans. For instance, Asperger's Syndrome is often conflated with autism, particularly "high-functioning" autism, despite the fact that neurophysiologically it is virtually the opposite in every way. The only commonality is that Asperger sufferers are socially isolated and don't show normal language development. Humans might see this as a very significant commonality, but the fundamental difference is that autistic individuals don't want social interaction with normal humans, while Asperger sufferers do.

Whatever normal humans may feel about the similarities, autistic persons generally end up rejecting such definitions and using the terminology in their own "idiosyncratic" meanings, which are mainly accessible to other members of the autistic community to which any given individual happens to belong.

When the very concept of who counts as being autistic differs so radically between normal humans and autistic communities, it should warn you that the conceptual differences are real and important. But it doesn't, somehow.

I wonder why? [Wink]

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monteverdi
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It is actually the dog that's being facilitated, not the woman.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Not "language," as noted above, but fascinating and moving for other reasons.

Agreed.
And blogwork that should be required reading for most of us, I think. Absolutely brilliant.

Like these, among many:
The staggering costs of the chair- and dark-impaired.
What You Know
Myth-Debunking, and an additional myth

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BlackBlade
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She strikes me as a bit elitist in her views.

But perhaps that is because typically people look down on those with her condition, and its a response.

I liked her comparison of bullies to the person who had a knack for working with autistic people. But her reference to the door and the ball were IMO less effective.

I suppose she might just be comparing herself to the door or ball, but if she is arguing that our interactions with the environment are less thought out then hers, it turns me off.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

I liked her comparison of bullies to the person who had a knack for working with autistic people. But her reference to the door and the ball were IMO less effective.

I suppose she might just be comparing herself to the door or ball, but if she is arguing that our interactions with the environment are less thought out then hers, it turns me off.

I'd hazard that she isn't arguing that our interactions with the environment aren't as thought out as hers, but rather that we have not thought out what hers are, regardless of our assuming we have. I think she's saying that her repsonses to the world around her may be not greater, not lesser, not bigger or better or more important, but just left-field to ours. And it is really really hard to think your way into understanding something you couldn't imagine even being in that direction.
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Survivor
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Not less thought out, just more formalized and thus less immediate.

Okay, less thought out. Because reducing the environment to a symbolic structure does reduce the amount of thinking you need to do. That emphasis on abstraction and division between unfiltered sensory experience and "objective reality" is only tenable because normal humans are in the majority.

I think that some of the effects are interesting. The greater division between conscious (formalized) and unconscious modes of thought in humans is particularly fun. In fact, the discussion of the flaws in "assisted communication" plays into that rather well. It's a very normal and human failing. I don't know what it had to do with the video, though.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Survivor:
I don't know what it had to do with the video, though.

Survivor, it was discussed above. If it still doesn't make sense to you, then I won't be able to help. You can keep asking, of course, but I'll be off discussing something else -- nothing personal, just the way it is.

Edited to add: And not that your being deprived of my dulcet tones and sparkling wit should be any great concern to you! Merely wanted to clarify why I would be ignoring at least those parts of your posts, should you keep asking. It seemed rude otherwise.

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Survivor
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I got the whole discussion of how you suspect that facilitated communication is often a "mathmatical horse" trick, but I didn't get what, if anything, about the video suggested facilitated communication to you.

Not that facilitated communication was the point of my posts. I just don't know why you brought it up, since it seems completely unrelated.

I'm also troubled by the apparent concensus reality you share which lets you all so lightly dismiss her claim that her language, however inaccessable to those who've made very little real effort to understand it, isn't a language at all. Yes, autistic persons sharing an environment will often communicate at a level that isn't readily reducible to "language" as humans typically understand it, but they also learn and use language, which they adapt to their own concepts and use in communication with other members of their autistic community.

When she says that this is a language (in a broader sense of a form of decodable communication about the world and her perceptions of it), I'm inclined to agree, I just don't believe that it is one that can be transcribed into a video. It's like watching a silent movie of a bunch of guys with full beards. We might be readily able to tell that they are talking, but we have little or no hope of telling what they're saying because the encoding stream doesn't carry the sensory data we'd need to understand the message. Maybe they were really just chewing with their mouths open, but it seems unfair to assert that if they claim they were talking.

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ClaudiaTherese
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Survivor, it's all up there, both why FC came into the conversation and why the word "language" doesn't apply, unless you are inventing a new meaning for the term itself.

I honestly don't think I can help you with any of this, so I trust you'll excuse my lack of direct communication with you on this or any other topic from here on out. You are, of course, free to continue as you see fit -- that goes without saying. But my attention will be elsewhere.

All the best. [Smile]

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Survivor
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Hee hee, I wonder how long I can keep you posting to say you won't reply to me...wait, um.

Okay, probably blew it already. I think that the whole "my lack of direct communication with you" vs "her mode of communication doesn't deserve to be called 'language'" thing is interesting and ironic. Maybe somebody else will comment on it. Or maybe not.

After all, I realized a little bit ago that there is a big difference between "I'm past 600 posts now" and "1000 posts, no sweat".

Unless I'm willing to post a whole bunch of meaningless fluff posts in threads that don't interest me at all. And it isn't so much that I'm unwilling, it's just that I don't do fluff.

Feel free to argue [Wink]

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theCrowsWife
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For Survivor:

quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:

I don't think it's impossible for her to have written what was in the snippet. [And which is significantly different in style and polish than what is written elsewhere in the blog. Is it impossible for her to have written all of that -- many long, involved, intricate posts -- and have polished it to a pristine gloss? Sure, possible. Without looking at the screen? Maybe. But she does mention using facilitated communication at times, to some extent, and I have reason to be wary of that process. I don't know what her "polishing" looks like. But it doesn't matter.

To be fair, though, the first time facilitated communication was mentioned in this thread, it was in response to the video, and not the blog, or at least that's how it was presented. And although I remembered CT saying that she got it from the blog, I had trouble finding the specific post when I went back to look for it. So it's within the realm of possibility that Survivor simply missed it.

--Mel

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ClaudiaTherese
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http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=047250;p=0&r=nfx#000022

---

Mel, if you look on the left side of her blog, there are categorizations for the posts. You can't miss it. There are keywords for "facilliatated communication" (12 posts) and "communication" (now 43 posts).

She has also added an edit to the typing snippet post that discusses camera use and remarks on the difference (in all of us) between formal and informal styles.

I'll reiterate that she doesn't and shouldn't have to do a darn thing for my sake. If I have reservations, that's my own issue, not hers.

Additionally, in interpreting those posts, you should know that she has also explained elsewhere on her blog that over time, what she says may change as a natural thing. For example, she might have said that she was never in "institutions" because, at the time, she thought of "institutions" only as state-run facilities. Now her definition is broader, so she might respond differently.

---

I had thought about posting excerpts from her blog, but those are her words, not mine. And the links are pretty clear to keywords, should anyone be interested. As for myself, I'll leave it here with this and the plug that her website has multiple videos, some photo essays, and a lot of good reading.

Cheers. [Smile]

[ February 01, 2007, 09:21 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Mucus
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CT: BTW, thanks. Your post was informative enough to get me back on track to lurking and understanding whats going on in this thread [Smile]
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theCrowsWife
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
Mel, if you look on the left side of her blog, there are categorizations for the posts. You can't miss it. There are keywords for "facilliatated communication" (12 posts) and "communication" (now 43 posts).

When I said that it was likely that Survivor simply missed it, I was referring to this thread, not the blog. There's nothing to suggest that Survivor has read the blog in question, because all of his comments have been based on the video. And although it was later clarified that the creator of this video was a proponent of facilitated communication, the very first post that brought it up did not make that connection:

quote:
I showed this to my roommate who's a psych major, and she brought up all the problems with facilitated communication which is what appears to be going on here.
I don't have any opinions on facilitated communication, because I'd never even heard of it before this thread. It just annoyed me that two people that I like were talking past each other, when the source of miscommunication seemed obvious to me.

--Mel

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Survivor
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Oh, I get it...well that's a more substantive and interesting debate.

After all, this woman (like most autistic individuals who learn human language) had to be taught through the use of facilitated communication. Profound autism prevents learning language in the normal human pattern, human language has to be imposed from the outside. You have to keep that in mind when she speaks in favor of it, she sees it as a transitional tool that enabled her to develop a skill she otherwise would never have acquired. She also sees it as a helpful service when she's too tired or emotional to communicate clearly.

There are times when I could wish that people would still listen to what I'm saying when I can't be bothered with full mode emotive modulation (synthetic human mannerisms). Um...though it is occasionally nice to resort to scare tactics [Wink]

In the writer's forum somebody was talking about professional editing services. Isn't this basically the same thing? You hire someone to say what you want to say better than you could say it, or at least to put more work into saying it well than you're willing to expend yourself. I say that writers should be able to do their own writing, but there are legitimate uses for third party editing.

Naturally, the scale is different from what we usually think of as facilitated communication, but the basic concept is the same.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by theCrowsWife:
It just annoyed me that two people that I like were talking past each other, when the source of miscommunication seemed obvious to me.

--Mel

You were very kind to try to make it more clear, and I've been a real testy bear lately. My apologies, and thank you for the clarification, Mel.
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