Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Autistics speak but are they heard?

Milton, Damian, Bracher, Mike (2013) Autistics speak but are they heard? Medical Sociology online, 7 (2). pp. 61-69. ISSN 1757-8310. (KAR id:62635)


In this article, we argue that the exclusion of autistic people from meaningful involvement in social scientific research is both ethically and epistemologically problematic, and constitutes a significant barrier to impact. By the term ‘meaningful’, we refer to the inclusion of different autistic voices not merely as sources of empirical material, but as active participants in the production of knowledge on autism. We discuss two trends in research that are of concern: firstly, the failure to explore and engage fully with the lived experiences of participants in social research; secondly, imposition of problematic narratives on autistic experiences, linked to partial or complete absence of engagement with the diverse work of autistic authors. We conclude by pointing to some contemporary developments and intellectual exchanges that serve as exemplars which increase the ethical and epistemological integrity of research on the lived experiences of autistic people.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism, participation, wellbeing, exclusion, research ethics.
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General) > Q180.55.M67 Research - Moral and ethical aspects
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC553.A88 Autism. Asperger's syndrome
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 05:21 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.