One, Wretches and Jabberers, is getting heavy promotion from the Autism Society and being shown in select AMC theaters across the country. It's a feel-good story with a hidden agenda; it's produced by Douglas Biklen, who promotes the debunked facilitated communication method. One of the stars, Tracy Thresher, is listed as having worked as a "lead trainer" at Biklen's Institute on Communication and Inclusion. In the documentary, the fact that the two gentlemen use facilitated communication is not mentioned, although the help of their facilitators is obvious.
It's a major release and getting national media attention. It's gotten attention from The New York Times, in which the reviewer notes that the documentary is "maddeningly vague about how the two men made their initial breakthroughs." In another review, Miriam Rinn writes that "Larry and Tracy land in a different place, have their problems adjusting, meet some people with autism who use facilitated communication, and deliver the same message at a conference. Wurzburg never mentions that FC is controversial, that many scientists believe it’s a fraud, or that some have found it useful. She does capture the warmth between the two men, however, which is touching, and their occasional delight." Michelle Healy in USA Today calls the documentary "Part advocacy film, part road trip/buddy movie" and briefly touches on the controversy, quoting two FC critics, James Todd and Howard Shane, before letting Biklen have the last word. Although Healy notes that Drs. Todd and Shane only viewed the trailer, Dr. Todd has extensive experience in the FC world and with many of the key players; he writes in our last piece on FC:
"I have met and interacted on multiple occasions with several of the people in the movie, including the main characters. These experiences include having lunch sitting next to Larry Bissonnette, as well as many hours of FC "training" featuring Tracy Thresher, Harvey Lavoy (Thresher's facilitator), Larry Bissonnette, Pascal Cheng (Bissonnette's facilitator), Chammi Rajapatirana, and mother (also his facilitator).My observations are consistent with your suspicions. I have seen nothing in anything they did to suggest that the typed communications are genuine. What I saw was facilitators controlling the typing."Not only is it getting attention in the national media, it's getting a lot of attention from the online autism community, most of it positive, and most of it without any focus on the underlying issue of facilitated communication.