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Monotropism is a theory that attempts to describe the autistic experience in a non-pathological way.[1]

First developed by the late Dr. Dinah Murray and Wenn Lawson, both Autistic, Monotropism is a theory of Autism which helps to explain Autistic motivation and many Autistic ways of being. A summary of Murray and Lawson’s work can be found at, a site created by Fergus Murray, son of the late Dinah Murray.

The site summarizes, “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.”

The site further suggests that Monotropism is one of the keys to understanding Autism, along with Milton’s Double Empathy Problem and the concept of Neurodiversity(a term first attributed to sociologist Judy Singer, but as of this writing, may have originated in earlier Autistic online spaces)