Autism Research

Autism Research is heavily biased and led mainly by non-autistic professionals. This is largely due to researchers before the 60s, as well as after the 60s. These researchers, in history, had privileges that autistic individuals, especially autistic people of color, autistic women, and LGBTQ+ autistic folks did not have and still do not. Many autistic people have not had successful careers in research because of some fields that silence our voices as a whole, as well as individuals that silence autistic individuals. We continue to maintain the expectation and goal in the future that autistic research in the United States will be led more often by autistic people. Researchers need to accept autistic culture into their research, and this includes identity first language, including autistic voices in research, and organizations that reach out to autistic people for feedback about how to conduct research in a more ethical and effective way that is conducive to the rights of disabled people. We also hold the view that researchers should be working with autistic-led nonprofits to further their education, taking courses that improve their understanding of autism in the courses. False reporting and implicit bias are very prominent in research, and this creates a barrier for autistic rights in the United States.  We also need to make a note: while autistic people are the experts of themselves, not all autistics are researchers, and not all autistic folks who work in research have unlearned internalized ableism. Autistic activists' voices matter just as much as researchers when it comes to policy, ethics, and helping the autistic community. We do support the use of non-medical surveys, seeing as though autism is still very pathologized in society.

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