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Autistic Debate

March 28, 1993

My son Tim, a 15-year-old nonverbal autistic, has conveyed things that his eight different facilitators could not have known. Some of them are false, some off the wall and some even bizarre, but then he is autistic, and that doesn't change because he is sometimes able to communicate. And note, that's sometimes .

Tim's "inappropriate" outbursts are neither arbitrary nor inappropriate; he cries because he misses his father and laughs because he thinks I look silly wiggling into my pantyhose.

Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. We owe it to everyone who can benefit from facilitated communication to have that option. We also owe them protection from exploitation.

SHEILA FALLEN

Los Angeles

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