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What Have Researchers Gotten Wrong about ASD and its Reflection on Ableism

What Have Researchers Gotten Wrong about ASD and its Reflection on Ableism

Not all autism research is stereotypical and prejudiced. However, autism researchers can sometimes be discriminative, especially when talking about autistic people and handling them. Most treat individuals with autism like objects and use terms that make autistic people feel less human, and this leads to stigmatization (Baggs, 2016). Most psychiatric research on autism applies poor standards, coming up with theories that cannot be proven. I believe that most autism researchers lack information and are ignorant about this topic, hence the development and publication of poor theories about autism.

What Have Researchers Gotten Wrong about ASD

Most researchers are unable to distinguish different patterns or stages of ASD. This leads to the wrong techniques and skills being applied when researching this topic. Most researchers apply the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ test to diagnose ASD (Baggs, 2016). Such skewed techniques have led to stereotypes that autistic people lack empathy and the ability to understand and communicate with other people. Other brain disorders present similar symptoms, like anxiety disorders and ADHD. Using tests that lack validity could lead to stigmatization and disparities in access to care among individuals with autism.

How this Reflect on Ableism

Prejudices in autism research could lead to the labeling of people with this disability as being at risk. According to Baggs (2016), there is a tendency in autism research to view the abilities of people with ASD in ways that other disabled people’s abilities are not frequently viewed. Ableism affects autistic individuals, making them feel a sense of shame and discomfort about their condition. Additionally, the use of ableist language could lead to stigmatization affecting individuals with autism through the development of mental health conditions due to stress, underemployment, and victimization. Therefore, I would advocate the need for autism researchers to be inclusive in autistic research participation and perspectives that reflect the needs and priorities of the autistic community. This will help reduce ableism in research outcomes, hence reducing the stigmatization of autistic people.


Baggs, M. (2016). Do not Ever Assume Autism Researchers Know What They Are Doing. Ballastexistenz 2016.


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What Have Researchers Gotten Wrong about ASD

What Have Researchers Gotten Wrong about ASD

Reflect on the reading Don’t Ever Assume Autism Researchers Know What They’re Doing (Mel Baggs) and answer the following questions. Responses can be short, one or two paragraphs for each question, as long as they answer the questions provided in a clear and concise manner.
What have researchers gotten wrong about ASD? How does this reflect ableism?


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