The Houben Case and Facilitated Communication

The media has been reporting that a Belgian man who has been in a coma for 23 years is now able to communicate thanks to "assistance" from an aide who holds his hand while he types on a keyboard (or actually, while they type on a keyboard).

Here are a couple of good articles about what seems fishy about these claims, and why "facilitated communication" is not taken seriously by most of the scientific community:

And, finally, there is video of Houben and his "assistant" typing while Houben's eyes are closed. It's amazing that a man so disabled is able to type with one finger with his eyes closed. I can't do it. I wonder how well he would do if the assistant's eyes were closed.

© 2003-2023 Kristopher Johnson