On January28, 2008 a hearing was held to determine whether the girl's testimony would be permitted. The hearing was closed to the public and reporters, but reporters were able to view the testimony without sound from outside the courtroom. A demonstration was conducted to show the unreliability of facilitated communication. The facilitator, an aide from school, was briefly asked to leave the room while the girl was asked a question. Then the aide came back into the room to assist the girl in answering the questions. The girl was unable to answer any of the questions she was asked (such as what is the color of your sweater? and what is your brother's name?) when the facilitator did not hear the question.
Experts, including Howard Shane from the Center for Communication Disorders at Children's Hospital in Boston, testified that facilitated communication is unreliable and that scientific studies show that it is the facilitator who is doing the communicating, not the person with the disability.
Although the judge found "nothing scientific about facilitated communication at all", he will allow the girl to testify using it and will rule on her competency next month.