I read “Spiel et al. (2019). Agency of autistic children in technology research—A critical literature review.” for class. I chose this article because I feel like autism is very misunderstood. The article outlines the different theories that exist to explain autism. One theory that stood out to me was the “extreme male brain” theory, which suggested people with autism lack empathy entirely. I completely disagree with this theory and I find it upsetting that autism is still so misunderstood.
One of my friends from home is studying to be a special education teacher, and her brother Daniel has autism. Daniel is such a sweet and empathetic kid, and I do not believe this theory holds true. Additionally, my school had a large special education program so I know a lot of people with autism who I went to school with. I totally disagree that autistic people “lack empathy”, as my classmates with autism were some of the most caring people I knew! I hope that the misunderstandings and stigmas surrounding autism begin to become less prevalent.
The article found that technology is built for neurotypical people, and people with autism interact differently with technology. I hope that new technologies can be developed to cater specifically to people with autism. As the article talked about, austistic children are viewed as the “other” in many cases, and we should begin changing how we look at it. There’s still so much to learn about autism, but research shows us that people with autism are capable of anything when they have tools that cater to their needs. Hopefully technology can help soon!