Courtesy of the Wendrow Family
  • Facilitated Communuication

    Aislinn Wendrow, shown here at 6 months, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. Devastated at first by the diagnosis, Aislinn's parents, Julian and Tali, say they see their daughter as a blessing. <a href="http://abc.go.com/watch/2020/SH559026/VD55161867/2020-106-from-miracle-to-nightmare">Watch the full story here.</a>
    Courtesy of the Wendrow Family
  • Facilitated Communuication

    Julian and Tali Wendrow spent years researching treatments to help their daughter. When Aislinn reached middle school, the Wendrows thought they found something that worked: Facilitated communication, a technique in which a trained facilitator helps a disabled person express his or her thoughts by typing on a keyboard.
    Courtesy of the Wendrow Family
  • Facilitated Communuication

    Through facilitated communication, the once silent Aislinn, shown here as a teenager, seemed to begin completing grade level schoolwork and even write poetry. A teacher reported that Aislinn hoped to be a college professor someday.
    Courtesy of the Wendrow Family
  • Facilitated Communuication

    Aislinn and her younger brother Ian were removed from their parents' home. Ian was sent to live in several places, including a facility housing abused teens. Ian was also taken for questioning by police. Footage of Ian's interview shows a detective pressing the tearful boy, then 13, for information on alleged abuse. Ian repeatedly denied any abuse took place.
    Courtesy of the Wendrow Family
  • Facilitated Communuication

    Howard Shane, who runs a communication center for autistic children at Children's Hospital Boston, said he's been involved in a dozen cases in which parents have faced false accusations that surfaced through facilitated communication. Shane testified on behalf of the defense in the Wendrow case.
    Children's Hospital Boston
  • Facilitated Communuication

    In a courtroom demonstration, Aislinn's facilitator, Cindy Scarsella, was asked to help Aislinn type responses to questions posed to the girl while Scarsella was out of the room. The responses Scarsella helped Aislinn type were sometimes gibberish and sometimes incorrect answers to simple questions. The charges against Julian Wendrow were dropped a month later.
    ABC News
  • Facilitated Communuication

    The police department responsible for Ian's interrogation has settled with the family for $1.8 million with no admission of wrongdoing. The Wendrows also sued the Oakland County prosecutor's office and David Gorcyca, as well as the school district and state child welfare agency for alleged misconduct. Many allegations were dismissed because of immunity laws but others are yet to be adjudicated.
    Courtesy of the Wendrow Family
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