Persecution of people with autism

Although contemporary recognition of autism as a neurological state has only emerged in the 20th century, it is probable that autistic people have been subjected to persecution prior to its recognition by psychology, but were labelled as being, for example, "witches" or lunatics.

Modern examples

It has been estimated that 63 percent of children in American schools who are bullied by other children, suffered from autistic spectrum disorders.[1] Children with autism are far more likely to be targeted for physical and/or sexual abuse than other children.[2]

This treatment continues into adulthood – one third of autistic people in the United Kingdom have reported being discriminated against in the workplace, and 81 percent said that they had either been bullied, experienced unfairness or a lack of support at work.[3]

People with autism are as much as 28 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population,[4] a rate that is arguably even higher than the rate for war veterans and rape survivors.

In contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa, autistic children are commonly accused of witchcraft because of their eccentric behavior, and are often subject to torture and even death.[5]

It's likely that many of the disabled children killed in Action T4 had autism. Though the Nazis did not specifically target children with a diagnosis of autism, they did kill many children with various developmental disabilities, which were poorly understood in the 1930s and 1940s.[6]


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