Archive for category Facilitated Communication

Comas And Communications

When Belgian Rom Houden was left in a coma following a car accident in 1983, his family feared he’d never come back from it. Little did they know, throughout his 23 years existing in what was thought to be a vegetative state, Rom was actually fully conscious and suffering from a condition known as ‘locked-in syndrome’ – where the sufferer is completely paralysed but otherwise mentally sound. In a report which has garnered international interest, Rom has been shown having learnt to communicate by typing on a keyboard with one finger, while his hand is held and supported and moved around by his helper.

Or so the report tells us.

Upon closer inspection, it seems the miraculous breakthrough might not be so amazing at all – a fact which James Randi picked up for the JREF site in a post he titled ‘This Cruel Farce Has To Stop‘. Having studied the video evidence, Randi is convinced Rom’s communications mount to little more than standard ‘facilitated communications‘ – in essence, that his helper is in fact the one doing the typing, and poor Rom is merely a helpless puppet. Read the rest of this entry »