A woman in a blue dress gazes out of a window out a window. Waves of yellow and pink expand from her gaze out into the world, evoking an attention tunnel.

Autism Professionals: Have you heard of monotropism?

Not once in my ADOS training did they ever cover the topic of monotropism.

That means people are getting trained to diagnose autism without a full understanding of the most important theory related around autism.


Have you even heard of it?


Kind of crazy that we are gerting trained in diagnosing without even learning what Monotropism is… #autism #speechtherapy #ados #earlyintervention

♬ original sound – PlaySpark

Header art: “Attention Tunnel” by Betsy Selvam is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Likewise, SpEd (and GenEd) educators are being trained in autism without a single mention of monotropism. Pretty much every autism professional lacks monotropism in their training.

Let’s change that.

Monotropism is a theory of autism developed by autistic people, initially by Dinah Murray and Wenn Lawson.

Read about explanations and applications of the theory, its history, and what’s happening now.

Monotropic minds tend to have their attention pulled more strongly towards a smaller number of interests at any given time, leaving fewer resources for other processes. We argue that this can explain nearly all of the features commonly associated with autism, directly or indirectly. However, you do not need to accept it as a general theory of autism in order for it to be a useful description of common autistic experiences and how to work with them.

If we are right, then monotropism is one of the key ideas required for making sense of autism, along with the double empathy problem and neurodiversity. Monotropism makes sense of many autistic experiences at the individual level. The double empathy problem explains the misunderstandings that occur between people who process the world differently, often mistaken for a lack of empathy on the autistic side. Neurodiversity describes the place of autistic people and other ‘neurominorities’ in society. 

This site is intended to be a central resource for learning about Monotropism (as a theory) and monotropism (as a trait).

Welcome – Monotropism



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