Douglas Biklen has done extensive research into a method for facilitating communication for people with autism. His article is a rich qualitative study of a facilitative communication method developed by Rosemary Crossley and her colleagues at the Dignity through Education and Language Communication Centre in Melbourne, Australia. This method challenges both Biklen's assumptions and those widely held in the field about the ability of people with autism to communicate. He demonstrates how people who have been labeled severely autistic can selectively communicate with certain facilitators, and in certain circumstances. In so doing, they not only challenge our widely held assumptions about autism, but also illustrate the effectiveness of an "education-through-dialogue approach" in which teachers and students learn from each other and where school validates personal expression.

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