There is abundant evidence to support the use of the Rapid Prompting Method, facilitated communication, and similar methodologies that teach individuals with unreliable speech to communicate effectively by typing or pointing to letters on a letterboard.
A compilation of supportive peer-reviewed research, organized by topic, can be accessed here (PDF).
- Some of this research provides evidence that non-speaking individuals cannot be assumed to lack intelligence or a desire to communicate socially, and therefore should be presumed capable of expressing complex thought and engaging with others. This evidence shows that most assessments of intelligence are not reliable for autistics and anyone else who cannot speak or control their bodies reliably.
- Some of the research provides evidence that autism is primarily a neuro-motor condition rather than a social or behavioral one.
- Some of this research provides evidence of the need for and role of well-trained communication partners in both teaching and supporting the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), especially in users with motor disabilities.
- Some of the research stresses the importance of communication choice, of the existence of individual idiosyncrasies in communication, and of the need to tailor training and AAC methods and devices to individual differences.
- And some of the research demonstrates that no single AAC training methodology or AAC method or device that allows an individual to communicate in an open-ended manner has been demonstrated in randomized controlled trial studies to be efficacious for non-speaking or unreliably-speaking autistics. Indeed, the research demonstrates that both our understanding of that segment of the autism population and of AAC are in their infancy.
A few of these publications are highlighted below: