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Tags autism , carly fleischmann

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Old 25th February 2008, 11:04 PM   #1
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facilitated communication/Carly's World (Autism)

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4311223&page=1

ABC news the people who brought you Jon of God are now touting Carly Fleischmann's ability to type her feelings about her experiences.

Haven't we seen this before? As I recall facilitated communication has been throughly debunked.

Or is this something else? from the little bit of actual typing she does on camera It is hard to know if she is really typing or picking up clues from the people sitting around her.

Anyone know any more about this or the therapist?


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Old 26th February 2008, 03:48 AM   #2
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I don't know much about this case, but it didn't look like your classic facilitated communication. It looked like she was typing by herself, not having her hand guided by someone else. Unless there is some sort of physical contact or verbal encouragement when she moves towards certain letters, I don't think it is really facilitated communication/ideomotor effect.

It may just be that her autism caused her to have difficulty with direct communication, but somehow using the computer as an interface feels less frightening?

But then again, there doesn't seem to be enough to properly tell in that video.

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Old 26th February 2008, 03:58 AM   #3
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Here's a link to another skeptic forum discussing it.

http://www.skepchick.org/skepticsgui...dc78462acafeb5

And in my brief googling, I found that the parents are saying that they never used facilitated communication with her even in the beginning to teach her how to type. Supposedly she started with something called a Dynavox which has pictures and symbols and gradually progressed to a laptop.

I would be interested to see whether when she makes spelling mistakes, they are similar mistake to those her carers make, and also whether she ever does it without someone right by her side.

Edit, found something from the mother claiming that she sometimes types in a seperate room, but usually needs someone with her as she is easily distracted.

Edit 2: Also found that she suffers from oral motor apraxia which limits her ability to use speech. Maybe she has always had good language skills, and was only limited by her speech poblems. But then, did they try sign language? I think I would have to have an awful lot more information on this to be able to make any sort of judgement.

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Old 26th February 2008, 07:23 PM   #4
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I had no great problem with the piece I saw on ABC news about Carly Fleischmann.

She is not as unusual as Donna Williams an autistic who wrote her autobiography called, Nobody Nowhere at 29. Donna did not speak "naturally" but was so smart that as an adult she figured out that the noises people made were some form of communication and taught herself how to speak (she first practiced making sounds -- "buh", "baa", "bah", etc, etc).

She wrote the book to find out, as she said, "what kind of 'mad' I am".

I heard the interview she had with the late lamented Peter Gzowski when it first aired in 1993. The interview reduced me to tears, it reduced Gzowski to tears, the production staff in the studio to tears, and a few hundred thousand CBC Radio listeners to tears as she struggled to translate her inner thoughts into spoken words.

I can't find the interview on the web any more but http://www.abilities.ca/agc/article/...id=513&aid=186
has a good summary of Donna's story. (Just ignore the phrase "Elimination of troublesome foods, vitamin supplementation". )

She has her own website at:
http://www.donnawilliams.net/
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Old 26th February 2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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It doesn't look like any FC puppeteering I've seen, but I'd like to see more clips. Any links?
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Old 27th February 2008, 08:21 AM   #6
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I could not find any other clips. I am leaning towards this being something
completely different. I am hoping it is real and this young lady is really finding her voice. However, what I have seen so far does not convince me. Watching her eyes when she is "typing" just does not look authentic. The discussion over at SGU has someone claiming to be Carly's Mom. And she is answering some of the skeptical questions.
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Old 1st March 2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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At work, my actual job title is "Communication Facilitator". I am hired through agencies, families, and private individuals to help adults with developmental disabilities who are unable to speak or use traditional sign language (A.S.L. mainly) find alternate ways of communicating. Where I live, I have recently seen a big trend toward "Facilitated Communication" in different forms.

I would like to clarify that I am very much against FC and work hard to prevent the people I work for from becoming involved in it. I live in Canada, and most of my colleagues I have asked are not familiar with term "facilitated communication" and the surrounding controversies, however many of them are (maybe unknowingly?) participating in it.

The wikipedia article RSLancastr refers to seemed somewhat vague as to examples of types of augmentative communication deemed to be within the realm of FC. The article focused on typing, but the majority of FC I've seen has been using 'adapted sign language' and electronic speech-generating devices, such as Dynavox or Vanguard (google "Aroga", first result, for examples of some of these devices). FC is difficult to stop or slow down where I am, the majority of companies that provide augmentative communication support are non-profit, government-funded, and are chronically short-staffed. Being government-funded, agencies pay the equivalent to (or less than) the hourly wage the counter staff at "Tim Horton's" (very popular chain of Canadian coffee/doughnut shops) make. I see many many untrained staff step into these jobs with no related experience, only the desire to 'do good' (a good intention to have but clearly not enough all the time...). I know many people who went to university to become Speech Language Pathologists, etc. but don't seek jobs in the developmental disabilities community due to the very low pay and little incentives to follow a career path in that community. It is truly tragic! I have seen so many disabled individuals hurt by FC, but it continues to become more and more common here.
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Old 1st March 2008, 02:45 PM   #8
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Oops... I should have clarified when I wrote "The wikipedia article RSLancastr refers to.."
I was referring to a post he made on the thread "Facilitaded Communication gets local press coverage" that links to a Wikipedia entry on Facilitated Communication.
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Old 11th March 2008, 06:40 AM   #9
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A similar case I just came across - someone considered a low functioning autistic who has learned to communicated through typing:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/21...nda/index.html
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Old 11th March 2008, 07:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by klk View Post
At work, my actual job title is "Communication Facilitator".
Didn't they have those on the "B" Ark?
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Old 21st March 2008, 03:51 PM   #11
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The Canadian newsmagazine W5 is doing a story on this as well on Saturday. They did do a very skeptical story on the Canadian Cancer Research Group, so I'm hoping if there is some sort of fraud involved that it will not be a puff piece.

Full video tends to show up on the site rather quickly, usually after the show has aired in the Maritimes, so you should be able to see it.

http://www.ctv.ca/wfive
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Old 24th March 2008, 04:18 PM   #12
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Carly Fleischmann and the autism assisted software?

here is a link with some info on this, it looks like the TVshow aired recently...
http://discuss.ctv.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=11490

It appears that the SOFTWARE creates words based on some basic typing?
Has this been verified by credible testing?
Is this really happening, or is it some software that creates words from a few letters, and then more words from the context of the previous words?
Are the sentences being created by the software itself?

It would be easy to find out, try it without that software!
Did they actually air this TV show, without looking into this software?
Maybe someone could download the software trial called WordQ, and just type in random letters, and see if it creates sentences?
Is this the same WordQ.

It would be tragic if this was some type of software doing this.

It appears Carly's mother is posting here?
http://www.skepchick.org/skepticsgui...af71dfe120ba46
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Old 30th July 2010, 04:12 PM   #13
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Carly's World (Autism)

I stumbled upon this recently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq--75v4lI8

It's a video about a girl named Carly who never spoke until she discovered a computer. I want to believe it, but wondered what you guys think. I don't see how a person who never read or wrote or spoke before, suddenly knew how to type and spell correctly on a computer, and know to simplify words like "stim" for stimulation.

She has a website (carlysvoice.com), where she says she herself is typing, but the link to her actually doing it isn't very convincing.

I confess I did not delve too deeply into the site. I'd love to have my skepticism proven wrong on this.

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Old 31st July 2010, 02:28 AM   #14
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Didn't look at the site but looked for related links and there seems to be quite a few connections to well known autism charities and groups and a couple of articles about her by professionals in the field and nothing obviously suggesting a fake.

The human mind can be very strange and those with severe autism are frequently beyond easy comprehension. The fact that she didn't write or speak for years doesn't mean that she wasn't learning how to all that time, from the little bit I read she could understand other people (though not always responding in any way) so she must have been picking up language skills but hadn't found a way to use them. Then she did.
Shrug, can't say much else without researching it more but sounds plausible, strange of course but then so much is
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Old 31st July 2010, 07:52 AM   #15
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Here's some statements by her mom on carly's background. She states she did not suddenly learn to do this, her family has been working with her since she was a small child to get her to this point. I think that is where the confusion lies. The news program I think wanted to make it seem more "miraculous" to make it more exciting, so they presented the story in such a way where it seems like one day this girl just sat down at a laptop out of the blue and could do this. But the way the parents tell it...yes it was only recently that she was able to communicate to this degree, which surprised them, but they have spent the last 9 years trying to teach her how to do so.

“Hello everyone --this is Tammy, Carly's mom …. What Carly is doing is not, and has never been FC or facilitate communication. What she has learned to do has been the result of years and years of effort, starting with a Dynavox machine, moving to a Springboard and then a lightwriter. She just prefers the laptop because it makes her look like everyone else who has a laptop. Even before the Dynavox, we had binders and binders of laminated sheets with Mayer Johnson picture symbols on them and the words below. We have always gone under the assumption that she was understanding and since she was so good at navigating her communication binders, we knew she was heading in the right direction from early on --we just never knew it would lead to such a sophisticated level of output. For the record, we may be sitting beside her when she types, or she sometimes kicks us out of the room when she wants to be alone, but we NEVER guide her hand over the letters --what would be the point of that? FC was debunked years ago. Independence for Carly has always been the goal in everything she does, from getting dressed to feeding herself to communicating to us. I hope that clears up any confusion.”

"When she was 2, we starting with PECS --did picture exchanges for every imaginable item under the sun. Many of the games I bought her had to do with reasoning and logic and were highly visualy in nature - memory games, sequencing, matching -- these were with pictures, words, numbers, etc. We had visual schedules (with the words underneath) for everything she had to do --gettng dressed, using the bathroom, tidying up, meals, going outside, etc. The whole house was also labelled -- my son went crazy with the label maker. Every item was stickered. We then moved to communication binders --we started that by category --food, acitivities, clothes, weather, feelings, etc. She never got to do what she wanted until she used the communication binders to show us. These were laminated sheets we made up with the mayer johnson picture symbols in them as well. We kept that going for a long time and all this time her ABA programs were also teaching her how to spell and read. We created stories for her using the mayer johnson software and didn't just read them to her --she was looking at the pages as well.We kept the binders for ease of use and portability but we were also learning about augmentative communication devices since it was clear her apraxia was so severe. We also taught her some sign language but realized that while we understood the signs, most of the world did not and so that was not going be to a functional option for her. The first machine was a Dynavox, the second was a Springboard and the third was a lightwriter which we used in conjunction with her laptop. We thought she would like the lightwriter better but she preferred the laptop even though it is more cumbersome --but it is what other kids have and that is a concern to …. Hope that helps.”


Hearing it explained this way I think makes it seem much more probable.

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Old 31st July 2010, 05:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
"When she was 2, we starting with PECS --did picture exchanges for every imaginable item under the sun. Many of the games I bought her had to do with reasoning and logic and were highly visualy in nature - memory games, sequencing, matching -- these were with pictures, words, numbers, etc. We had visual schedules (with the words underneath) for everything she had to do --gettng dressed, using the bathroom, tidying up, meals, going outside, etc. The whole house was also labelled -- my son went crazy with the label maker. Every item was stickered. We then moved to communication binders --we started that by category --food, acitivities, clothes, weather, feelings, etc. She never got to do what she wanted until she used the communication binders to show us. These were laminated sheets we made up with the mayer johnson picture symbols in them as well. We kept that going for a long time and all this time her ABA programs were also teaching her how to spell and read. We created stories for her using the mayer johnson software and didn't just read them to her --she was looking at the pages as well.We kept the binders for ease of use and portability but we were also learning about augmentative communication devices since it was clear her apraxia was so severe. We also taught her some sign language but realized that while we understood the signs, most of the world did not and so that was not going be to a functional option for her. The first machine was a Dynavox, the second was a Springboard and the third was a lightwriter which we used in conjunction with her laptop. We thought she would like the lightwriter better but she preferred the laptop even though it is more cumbersome --but it is what other kids have and that is a concern to …. Hope that helps.”
This sounds like pretty typical speech therapy/AAC progression for a non-verbal child -- autistic or otherwise (though the visual schedules are more typical of autism therapy than other conditions). One thing worth noting is the mention of severe apraxia. I'm not sure of the statistics, but a significant number of kids with autism also suffer from some degree of apraxia. Whether it occurs as part of an autistic profile or not, apraxia takes a very long time to treat, and kids with more severe cases may never speak normally -- or at all. Which is one reason portable voice synthesizers are such a wonderful invention (they have multiple AAC systems available as iPhone apps now!).

If it really happened the way the mom described, I find that credible.

I'll have to look at this more in-depth ... there are some families I work with who might like to see it, if it's on the level.
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Last edited by borealys; 31st July 2010 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 31st July 2010, 06:53 PM   #17
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But this doesn't jive with the favor expressing regret that they used to speak in front of her as if she wasn't in the room. It doesn't jive with his comments that he seemed to suddenly realize there was a person in there. It doesn't jive with the therapists needing to be convinced. Most striking, though, is that there is no actual video where we can see her typing anything coherent.

I remain unconvinced and feel a little dirty because of it.
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Old 31st July 2010, 08:41 PM   #18
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All we ever see in the film is a child hitting a single key. We never see her actually enter complete sentences or communication except,"is he cute", with a typo. Without actually seeing her enter the keystrokes, I would wager this is a fraud. It is intriguing. But the rest of what we see is not her typing, but the girl hitting a single keystroke which repeats aloud an already entered passage. If the girl had really typed the passages, it shouldn't be that hard to videotape.

It's possible the parents are wishfully believing in facilitated communication. I don't see the evidence here of the words coming from the girl, only evidence of a hoodwinked John Stossel. That probably isn't hard to do.
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Old 31st July 2010, 09:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
But the rest of what we see is not her typing, but the girl hitting a single keystroke which repeats aloud an already entered passage. If the girl had really typed the passages, it shouldn't be that hard to videotape.
From one video linked on the site, it looks as if she types very slowly. I've seen people with other severe disabilities using AAC devices who, whenever possible, prep what they want to say in advance because it takes them so long to get it out if they have to type it while you're sitting there waiting. I believe Stephen Hawking works that way sometimes. Not that there isn't room for skepticism here, but I don't think it's all that significant that the news clips didn't show the girl typing out her message if she types as slowly as she did in the video linked on the site. These segments are time limited, after all.

I realized as I was looking through the site that this is the same girl the local news did a piece on a few years ago, and I remember going through all of these same questions in my head back then. Of course, I didn't bother looking into it in any detail then, and eventually I forgot about it. :S
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Old 31st July 2010, 09:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
All we ever see in the film is a child hitting a single key. We never see her actually enter complete sentences or communication except,"is he cute", with a typo. Without actually seeing her enter the keystrokes, I would wager this is a fraud. It is intriguing. But the rest of what we see is not her typing, but the girl hitting a single keystroke which repeats aloud an already entered passage. If the girl had really typed the passages, it shouldn't be that hard to videotape.

It's possible the parents are wishfully believing in facilitated communication. I don't see the evidence here of the words coming from the girl, only evidence of a hoodwinked John Stossel. That probably isn't hard to do.
Here you go:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


I've met autistic people online who are completely non-verbal in real life, but when they type a message on a computer they're more articulate then I am. One of them mentioned that it's easier to communicate via a computer because it takes the social pressure away -- she finds it easier to interact with a machine than with people. She also said that it takes hours for her to make a forum post.

Others have said that using the computer gives them time to think about what they want to say. When they try to talk directly to people (those who can speak, of course) they have trouble keeping up with the conversation -- it takes more time for their brains to process all the input and then formulate an answer.
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Old 31st July 2010, 09:48 PM   #21
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I saw that video, and it made me a tad suspicious. We only see a few letters appear on the screen, but not her finger hitting the associated keys. Likewise, we see her fingers hit keys, but we don't see letters appear on the screen. It looks like there's a window that pops up with suggestions, which would explain why it appears that's she's hitting number keys (selecting a suggested word).
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Old 31st July 2010, 10:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by borealys View Post
From one video linked on the site, it looks as if she types very slowly. I've seen people with other severe disabilities using AAC devices who, whenever possible, prep what they want to say in advance because it takes them so long to get it out if they have to type it while you're sitting there waiting. I believe Stephen Hawking works that way sometimes. Not that there isn't room for skepticism here, but I don't think it's all that significant that the news clips didn't show the girl typing out her message if she types as slowly as she did in the video linked on the site. These segments are time limited, after all.

I realized as I was looking through the site that this is the same girl the local news did a piece on a few years ago, and I remember going through all of these same questions in my head back then. Of course, I didn't bother looking into it in any detail then, and eventually I forgot about it. :S
I've seen Steven Hawking live, and the question/answer period was slow. I understand that. And I've seen very intelligent sufferers of cerebral palsy who were clearly very intelligent but had muscle control which gave the appearance of mental disability especially because of the way it affected their speech.

Neither of these people had the behavior problems which this girl has been described as having in this video. In addition, we have volumes of evidence regarding the false promise of facilitated communication.

I have no doubt you could produce a time lapse video of Hawking and you'd have no question he was the author of his work. At this point, I'm willing to consider additional evidence but I'm unwilling to consider what is in that video is convincing.
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Old 1st August 2010, 12:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
Here you go:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
That video actually reveals more evidence of fraud than it supports real communication. First, it's the only video except the "Is he cute" typing video. This girl has supposedly typed long explanations of her inner most experiences, not just a couple messages. Video documentation should be overflowing on that web site. It's not like it is prohibitally expensive to produce digital videos. There should be hundreds.

At the beginning, we cannot see the screen. When the camera closes in there is an entire passage apparent. When the girl hits a single keystroke, two letters appear in "great" (at second 32 an 'at' appears with a single keystroke). The 'a' and 't' are not close to each other on the key board and given how slow she moves it is inconsistent she is going to hit the a and t that fast.

After that point we never again see the actual screen message. The letter following 'me' could be an 'n', near the 'm'. But the next letter at second 58 looks to be in the top row on the left. The 'o' is on the right. We never see the final message. As we lose focus on the screen the message is, "I have a great me..." It makes sense given the passage this is supposed to say "memory" and when she hits the 'e' in memory, it could be an 'e' (second 44).

But from there it is questionable. At second 53 she hits the 'n', 1:06 'f' maybe, 1:13 an 'r', 1:22 the space bar, 1:28 an 'a', 1:33 and 'n', 1:39 a 1 or a 'q' with the next letter not near the 'u'. I just cannot correlate the keystrokes to a coherent passage. But I welcome anyone who can construct a message that fits the clearly visible keystrokes allowing for the ones we cannot clearly see.


I did find this Larry King transcript with Jenny McCarthy that supposedly had a communication with Carly. She apparently didn't have trouble communicating in real time with King in this exchange.
Quote:
KING: Time now for our blog segment. Tonight's special correspondent, watch this, is 14-year-old Carly Fleischman. She joins us via broad band from our home in Canada. Carly has lived with autism her entire life. She petitioned us to appear on the show. Thousands of people signed it. She cannot speak with her mouth as she puts it, but she has a lot to say. And with the help of her computer she says it.

Carly started communicating this way four years ago. Hi, Carly, great to see you. What do you want people to know about living with autism?

CARLY FLEISCHMANN, LKL BLOG CORRESPONDENT: For as long as I can remember I have had autism. I overheard Jim say that he felt like he didn't remember things when he was (inaudible) -- I also know many autistic kids that are exactly the same way. Parents know what I'm talking about. Kids that can tell you (inaudible) or can memorize line for line different movies and TV shows. Doctors would like to tell you that we have a hard time processing information. It's not really true. Our brains are wired differently. We have take in many conversations at once. I have learned how to filter through some of the mess.

KING: Carly, you keep up the great work, we loved having you on the show. We will do it again. You want to talk to Carly. Go to cnn.com/larryking. Say hello. More with Jenny, Jim and our guests right after this....

...KING: A comment from Carly, our guest blogger with autism: "it's the kids that are lost, because the parents are missing the cues by their children while they're wrapped up in all this." Question for Dr. Fisher. There's a debate over vaccine schedules. What do you recommend?




Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
I've met autistic people online who are completely non-verbal in real life, but when they type a message on a computer they're more articulate then I am. One of them mentioned that it's easier to communicate via a computer because it takes the social pressure away -- she finds it easier to interact with a machine than with people. She also said that it takes hours for her to make a forum post.

Others have said that using the computer gives them time to think about what they want to say. When they try to talk directly to people (those who can speak, of course) they have trouble keeping up with the conversation -- it takes more time for their brains to process all the input and then formulate an answer....
This is a straw man argument. I've certainly not claimed every person who communicates with a keyboard who cannot communicate verbally is a fake.
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Old 1st August 2010, 11:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
CARLY FLEISCHMANN, LKL BLOG CORRESPONDENT: For as long as I can remember I have had autism. I overheard Jim say that he felt like he didn't remember things when he was (inaudible) -- I also know many autistic kids that are exactly the same way. Parents know what I'm talking about. Kids that can tell you (inaudible) or can memorize line for line different movies and TV shows. Doctors would like to tell you that we have a hard time processing information. It's not really true. Our brains are wired differently. We have take in many conversations at once. I have learned how to filter through some of the mess.
That bit is striking because it's so much better typed than some of the other writing samples on the site -- which makes me suspect that it was either typed up for her or prepared in advance. It certainly looks like the kind of question that could have been sent to her ahead of time.

I do agree that more documentation would be nice.
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Old 1st August 2010, 03:10 PM   #25
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Thanks for the replies everyone, and apologies for not finding the original thread, I guess I didn't search far back enough. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds it all suspicious. It was that one video, which we couldn't even see most of the time, that set off flags. If this were my kid I'd have a youtube account with all of the evidence of her typing full paragraphs.
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Old 1st August 2010, 04:01 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This is a straw man argument. I've certainly not claimed every person who communicates with a keyboard who cannot communicate verbally is a fake.
Lol, wut? I don't recall making an argument at all. I just provided you with a link to a video you said you couldn't find and related a few things I've heard from my autistic friends. I certainly made no statements about anything you may or may not have claimed.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 03:18 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by CelticRose View Post
Lol, wut? I don't recall making an argument at all. I just provided you with a link to a video you said you couldn't find and related a few things I've heard from my autistic friends. I certainly made no statements about anything you may or may not have claimed.
Perhaps if you had just posted your comment without quoting me just above it? I had no way of knowing only the YT video applied to my post.

It sounded like you were arguing my assessment of this girl was based on general incredulity that anyone non-verbal might be able to use a keyboard instead.

Of course many non-verbal people can use a keyboard and of course many of them are very intelligent. This girl does not appear to be one of them.



On another note, I had a thought. I wonder if this might be a fraud perpetrated to get the girl into a specific class in their public school? Our country has a law requiring a public school education for all kids regardless of their disability. It is very expensive for school districts who have to cover the cost of one to one staff for the kids with severe behavior problems. And the parents get free day care for a child in whom learning in a public school is hopeless.

I empathize with people who need financial help for a disabled child, it's just unfortunate that some parents are in denial and insist their child can learn in a public school. I can imagine a parent might want to fake a child's mental ability in order to get the school to attempt to educate the child. The parent may believe the fraud and just think they are getting other people to see what they see.
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Old 11th August 2010, 04:54 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That video actually reveals more evidence of fraud than it supports real communication.

[...]

At the beginning, we cannot see the screen. When the camera closes in there is an entire passage apparent. When the girl hits a single keystroke, two letters appear in "great" (at second 32 an 'at' appears with a single keystroke). The 'a' and 't' are not close to each other on the key board and given how slow she moves it is inconsistent she is going to hit the a and t that fast.
Are we watching the same video? She is very clearly hitting all the correct keys. 'A' 'Space' 'G' 'R' 'E' '(# autocomplete the word great)' 'M' 'E' '(# autocomplete the word memory'). Perhaps you didn't realize that she's hitting numbers to autocomplete the words?

I was really skeptical when I first heard this story, but this video is pretty convincing. The 60 minutes video (or whatever show it was) was way too sensational, though.
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Old 12th August 2010, 12:23 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by esoteric View Post
Are we watching the same video? She is very clearly hitting all the correct keys. 'A' 'Space' 'G' 'R' 'E' '(# autocomplete the word great)' 'M' 'E' '(# autocomplete the word memory'). Perhaps you didn't realize that she's hitting numbers to autocomplete the words?

I was really skeptical when I first heard this story, but this video is pretty convincing. The 60 minutes video (or whatever show it was) was way too sensational, though.
Numbers to autocomplete the words? Do you know or were you able to correlate just which numbers give just which combinations of letters?

If you want to tell us what 1,2, 3 etc all (or some) give you on the keyboard, I'll look again. I slowed the video down to frame by frame and no way did the strokes match the sentences.

In addition, there should be dozens of videos with very clear evidence. Where are they? Even the video we do see is mostly not showing keystrokes and message in any way that confirms the girl is actually typing a coherent message.

When the girl hits a single keystroke, two letters appear in "great" (at second 32 an 'at' appears with a single keystroke). The 'a' and 't' are not close to each other on the key board and given how slow she moves it is inconsistent she is going to hit the a and t that fast.

If you had 10 number keys you programmed for some macro output, would 'at' be one of the 10? "At" is only in 13 of the top 500 words used in English according to this link.

It makes more sense that with only 10 macro keys, one would use them for longer repeating segments, like whole names or strings of words.


After that point we never again see the actual screen message. The letter following 'me' could be an 'n', near the 'm'. But the next letter at second 58 looks to be in the top row on the left. The 'o' is on the right. We never see the final message. As we lose focus on the screen the message is, "I have a great me..." It makes sense given the passage this is supposed to say "memory" and when she hits the 'e' in memory, it could be an 'e' (second 44).

But from there it is questionable. At second 53 she hits the 'n', 1:06 'f' maybe, 1:13 an 'r', 1:22 the space bar, 1:28 an 'a', 1:33 and 'n', 1:39 a 1 or a 'q' with the next letter not near the 'u'. I just cannot correlate the keystrokes to a coherent passage. But I welcome anyone who can construct a message that fits the clearly visible keystrokes allowing for the ones we cannot clearly see.


Here is what that sequence would spell out: nfr an[1 or q]. Feel free to hypothesize a coherent message in that, including a macro keystroke for the 1, and I'll go back and see if I can see it.
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Old 12th August 2010, 12:49 PM   #30
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As I pointed out earlier, there's a separate window with word suggestions. It's not rocket surgery to prompt words based on what has been typed so far. It's not a "macro" system but an autocomplete. It's just too difficult to tell either way from the video if she's actually entering even with autocomplete the sentences we see.

As for your concern about "at" appearing with one keystroke, the first entry in the autocomplete list is "great." She already had "gre" on the screen. One keystroke would complete the word. As soon as she did that, the autocomplete list cleared.

There's still a lack of evidence both for and against.
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Old 13th August 2010, 08:11 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
As I pointed out earlier, there's a separate window with word suggestions. It's not rocket surgery to prompt words based on what has been typed so far. It's not a "macro" system but an autocomplete. It's just too difficult to tell either way from the video if she's actually entering even with autocomplete the sentences we see.

As for your concern about "at" appearing with one keystroke, the first entry in the autocomplete list is "great." She already had "gre" on the screen. One keystroke would complete the word. As soon as she did that, the autocomplete list cleared.

There's still a lack of evidence both for and against.
There is evidence against, it's the obvious lack of documentation which should be easy to provide considering the claims. It's the behavior one witnesses the girl display that is classic with mentally disabled and not classic with the physically disabled like those with cerebral palsy. There is the history of parents of similarly disabled children being in denial and faking verbal communication such as with FC. There is the gross inconsistency in the verbal skills including the supposed insight the girl professes to have and her observed level of intellect the girl displays.

If the claims were real, there should be no problem providing valid eye witnesses such as testing by experts. Where is the testimony of a third party like the girl's physician? Is she like Mr Ed and only talks to Mom or over a texting device?


As for finishing words, sure, my text editor spell corrects as I type. And 'great' is reasonable if you never expect the person to type 'grease'. That doesn't explain the sequence you can clearly see by slowing the video down to frame by frame: "nfr an..."

Come up with some possible phrase or word from that, I'm willing to consider anything reasonable. You can look at the video, there are no other keys being hit in the sequence.
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Old 13th August 2010, 12:21 PM   #32
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I don't believe the family felt like they were up for the MDC and needed to fully document the evidence for a skeptical crowd. The level of "evidence" is right on par with the level of "evidence" presented with human interest stories. I'm only mildly suspicious.

Your comment about great and grease is, well, rather silly. The only thing I can figure is that you don't understand that the vertical, rectangular box to the left of the document is a list of suggested words. It seems clear she typed gr before the camera zooms in. While it's zoomed, you can see her appear to type another letter, presumably e. You can see the list of suggested words on the left of the screen change accordingly. Grease, of course, is one of the choices, just like greater and greatest.

Quote:
But from there it is questionable. At second 53 she hits the 'n', 1:06 'f' maybe, 1:13 an 'r', 1:22 the space bar, 1:28 an 'a', 1:33 and 'n', 1:39 a 1 or a 'q' with the next letter not near the 'u'. I just cannot correlate the keystrokes to a coherent passage. But I welcome anyone who can construct a message that fits the clearly visible keystrokes allowing for the ones we cannot clearly see.
At 53 she hits M not N. At 58 she hits a 3, which enter an autocomplete word. I don't know what that word was. She then hits F then O. Then, as you say, an R at 1:13. That spells FOR. After that you're wrong about the Q. She hits a 1, which inserts another autocomplete word.

In other words, your analysis is wrong.
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Old 13th August 2010, 02:39 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
I don't believe the family felt like they were up for the MDC and needed to fully document the evidence for a skeptical crowd. The level of "evidence" is right on par with the level of "evidence" presented with human interest stories. I'm only mildly suspicious.
I don't know who you are replying to here. I don't see this as fitting the criteria for the MDC but then I don't know much about the MDC rules.

Originally Posted by UncaYimmy
Your comment about great and grease is, well, rather silly. The only thing I can figure is that you don't understand that the vertical, rectangular box to the left of the document is a list of suggested words. It seems clear she typed gr before the camera zooms in. While it's zoomed, you can see her appear to type another letter, presumably e. You can see the list of suggested words on the left of the screen change accordingly. Grease, of course, is one of the choices, just like greater and greatest.



At 53 she hits M not N. At 58 she hits a 3, which enter an autocomplete word. I don't know what that word was. She then hits F then O. Then, as you say, an R at 1:13. That spells FOR. After that you're wrong about the Q. She hits a 1, which inserts another autocomplete word.

In other words, your analysis is wrong.
Or yours is.

At second 53 the key she hits is just above the end of the space bar. That is an M on my keyboard. The N is one letter in from the right edge of the space bar.

At second 58, her finger never hits the keyboard.

The R is not close to the O so my guess is you are again seeing a hand move that doesn't actually contact the keyboard.

As for the Q or the 1, I said either one. Where did I say otherwise?


Your willingness to suspend the obvious in favor of miracle communication leaves out the historical fakery in FC, the denial and desire of these parents to 'prove' their child is not mentally slow, the fact there should be overwhelming evidence here and there isn't even any clear evidence, and the sophistication of the written content being completely inconsistent with the recorded mentally deficient behavior of the child that goes well beyond simple lack of spoken verbal ability and includes smearing feces on the walls.
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Old 13th August 2010, 02:55 PM   #34
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The original John Stossel piece shows the girl with any number of keyboard communication devices that she can barely use.

Also after re-watching it, one wonders if the 'therapist' isn't the perpetrator and perhaps has preyed upon the parent's desperation.

"Other therapists wanted to see proof", "but Carly refused to type". After a lot of behavior therapy Carly may hit specific keys for rewards. I think that is possible. But then magically she types all her parents' wishes that she really isn't mentally deficient.

This story is full of red flags.
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Old 13th August 2010, 03:15 PM   #35
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Here's another news story from her web page:
http://carlysvoice.com/?p=289

"emailing her father at work"

She also twitters, emailed Ellen DeGenerus and Larry King. All these are unwitnessed communications.

"the one thing she can control is when and where she'll type and usually she needs to be motivated"
Mr Ed comes to mind.

She mistypes "is he cute" for the news reporter after her "finger hovered over the keyboard for hours"

That, along with typing other single words suggests a mental ability that could be as low as an IQ of 60-70. She may very well have this level of communication. That would be consistent with what we've seen in these videos.

Notice the same male therapist is always around when she is typing?

Dad: "I'll spend every penny we have to hear that"

I think this is sad and it will likely turn out the therapist has a cushy job here and is maybe the source of the fraud, rather than the parents. The parents are likely believing what they want to believe.
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Old 13th August 2010, 06:51 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't know who you are replying to here. I don't see this as fitting the criteria for the MDC but then I don't know much about the MDC rules.
My point is that it's a fluff, human interest piece, not a presentation of evidence to a skeptical audience.

Quote:
Or yours is.
Highly doubtful in this case.


Quote:
At second 53 the key she hits is just above the end of the space bar. That is an M on my keyboard. The N is one letter in from the right edge of the space bar.
The better approach is to count the number of keys from the left to determine which is which. Looking at the relationship to the space bar is unreliable.

Quote:
At second 58, her finger never hits the keyboard.
Yeh, it does.

Quote:
The R is not close to the O so my guess is you are again seeing a hand move that doesn't actually contact the keyboard.
Are we watching the same video?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byNQD5T3Yq4

She very clearly types FOR.

Quote:
As for the Q or the 1, I said either one. Where did I say otherwise?
Actually, it's not either. It's 1, clear as day. Pause it and count rows of keys.


Quote:
Your willingness to suspend the obvious in favor of miracle communication leaves out the historical fakery in FC,
Are you talking to me? I have expressed my doubts several times in this thread. While I may agree in general with your position, I don't believe yours was arrived at reliably. Your analysis of the video is faulty, and your desire for "evidence" is misplaced because nobody is attempting to prove anything.

Quote:
the denial and desire of these parents to 'prove' their child is not mentally slow, the fact there should be overwhelming evidence here and there isn't even any clear evidence, and the sophistication of the written content being completely inconsistent with the recorded mentally deficient behavior of the child that goes well beyond simple lack of spoken verbal ability and includes smearing feces on the walls.
Prisoners smear **** on the wall, but some of them are damned smart. Do you have some references I can read that explain to me what mentally deficient behavior is and how it applies in this case?
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Old 13th August 2010, 11:59 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
...
The better approach is to count the number of keys from the left to determine which is which. Looking at the relationship to the space bar is unreliable.
I looked at every keyboard in the house, they are all the same. Obviously your's is too or you would have said so. Feel free to post actual contradictory evidence.

Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
...Are we watching the same video?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byNQD5T3Yq4

She very clearly types FOR.
No, she does not.

Since we don't agree here, I suggest you address the other evidence that suggests she can type a word or two but the therapist we see in every video is likely typing the more sophisticated stuff.


Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
...
Are you talking to me? I have expressed my doubts several times in this thread. While I may agree in general with your position, I don't believe yours was arrived at reliably. Your analysis of the video is faulty, and your desire for "evidence" is misplaced because nobody is attempting to prove anything.
So now what are you saying? She types just fine but you don't believe she types what is claimed?

Originally Posted by UncaYimmy View Post
Prisoners smear **** on the wall, but some of them are damned smart. Do you have some references I can read that explain to me what mentally deficient behavior is and how it applies in this case?
Your analogy is irrelevant to the topic here. The reasons prisoners might smear feces is completely different. And I would beg to differ with you just how smart such dysfunctional prisoners are.
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Old 14th August 2010, 01:21 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I looked at every keyboard in the house, they are all the same. Obviously your's is too or you would have said so. Feel free to post actual contradictory evidence.
Go to Google Images and search for Keyboard. On the first page you will see that the width of the space bar varies significantly, but the bottom row of letter keys is always zxcvbnm. Looking around your house is called confirmation bias, especially when you do not count the keys as I indicated. Here. Count yourself - she's hitting the 7th key over after the oversized shift key. That is the letter m. The space bar width is not a good indicator.



Quote:
No, she does not.


F


O


R


Got it now? Count the keys on a QWERTY keyboard.


Quote:
Since we don't agree here, I suggest you address the other evidence that suggests she can type a word or two but the therapist we see in every video is likely typing the more sophisticated stuff.
No, I will not do that. I am addressing your mistakes. You need to review my posts in this thread where I have expressed serious misgivings about her.

Quote:
So now what are you saying? She types just fine but you don't believe she types what is claimed?
What I am saying is that your analysis of the video is seriously in error. She appeared to type the word great using autocomplete and clearly typed the word for. That's all the evidence there is of her typing ability, which is not enough to form a conclusion either way.

Quote:
Your analogy is irrelevant to the topic here. The reasons prisoners might smear feces is completely different. And I would beg to differ with you just how smart such dysfunctional prisoners are.
I did not make an analogy. I pointed out that smearing feces in and of itself does not indicate a lack of intelligence. Please support your claim about mentally deficient behavior. I Googled that exact phrase and only found 98 hits, so it sounds like something you invented. It is incumbent upon you to explain what it is and relate it to your observations of this young girl.
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Old 14th August 2010, 11:38 AM   #39
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Second 107 she hits the f, second 109, she hits the o. Next, her finger hovers over several keys and finally at second 112 she hits the d with clear force and pulls her hand up off the board.

I don't doubt this girl can type a limited number of words. The more one looks the more evidence one sees of a person with an IQ of a mildly to moderately mentally retarded person as opposed to profoundly retarded as she appeared when younger.

As for the fecal smearing: Medical and Psychiatric Management of Fecal Smearing in Adult Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Quote:
Overview:
Fecal smearing or throwing of feces can be a distressing behavioral problem in the person with mental retardation.

Differential Diagnosis
The assessment of fecal smearing depends upon the clinical circumstances of the individual. Fecal smearing is not a typical behavior in persons with mild retardation or borderline intellect (1). Fecal smearing in this intellectual group suggests manipulative behavior, attention-seeking behavior or delirium....

Fecal smearing may occur in moderate and severely retarded persons and minimal clinical data describes this distressing behavior (2), (3), (4).
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Old 14th August 2010, 10:12 PM   #40
Uncayimmy
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 7,485
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Second 107 she hits the f, second 109, she hits the o. Next, her finger hovers over several keys and finally at second 112 she hits the d with clear force and pulls her hand up off the board.
There is no second 107. The video is 105 seconds long. I assume you mean 1:07 and so forth. I would normally ignore this, but your repeated carelessness with this analysis is annoying, and this is further evidence. Here's yet another screen capture, this one enhanced. The D key is clearly visible. The R key is obscured by her finger and appears to be pressed down.



Quote:
I don't doubt this girl can type a limited number of words. The more one looks the more evidence one sees of a person with an IQ of a mildly to moderately mentally retarded person as opposed to profoundly retarded as she appeared when younger.
Are you saying you are qualified to judge her IQ based on a few minutes of video?


Quote:
You offered smearing of feces as evidence that she is mentally retarded whereas your citation says, "No specific type of intellectual disability is associated with increased risk of fecal smearing." Therefore, you have debunked your own claim of "mentally deficient behavior." So it again appears that you are making up your own diagnosis. By contrast I am simply saying there is a lack of evidence either way to draw a conclusion, but the lack of evidence for the creation of sophisticated writing is somewhat suspicious.
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