Confronting Autism in Urban Bangladesh: Unpacking Infrastructural and Cultural Challenges


  • Upol Ehsan Georgia Institute of Technology image/svg+xml
  • Nazmus Sakib Marquette University image/svg+xml
  • Md Munirul Haque Purdue University West Lafayette image/svg+xml
  • Tanjir Soron Neurodevelopmental Disability Protection Trust
  • Devansh Saxena Marquette University image/svg+xml
  • Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed Marquette University image/svg+xml
  • Amy Schwichtenberg Purdue University West Lafayette image/svg+xml
  • Golam Rabbani Neurodevelopmental Disability Protection Trust
  • Shaheen Akter Institute of Pediatric Neurodisorder and Autism
  • Faruq Alam National Institute of Mental Health image/svg+xml
  • Azima Begum Dhaka Medical College and Hospital image/svg+xml
  • Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed University of Toronto image/svg+xml



autism, Bangladesh, stigma, mental health, mobile health, understanding users, ecological design, ICTD


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a critical problem worldwide; however, low and middle-income countries (LMICs) often suffer more from it due to the lack of contextual research and effective care infrastructure. Moreover, ASD in LMICs offers unique challenges as cultural misperceptions and social practices often impede effective care there. However, the recent growth in mobile phone adoption in many LMICs has created a timely opportunity for improving ASD care practices through digital means. We present qualitative findings on the challenges of designing mobile assistive technologies for ASD in Bangladesh. Our data reveals a set of technical, social, and cultural challenges with caregivers and care professionals for designing a meaningful technology for them. We show how those challenges are deeply rooted in the broader infrastructural and cultural tensions of the country. We also present embedded design implications to overcome these challenges.


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How to Cite

Ehsan U, Sakib N, Haque MM, Soron T, Saxena D, Iqbal Ahamed S, Schwichtenberg A, Rabbani G, Akter S, Alam F, Begum A, Ahmed SI. Confronting Autism in Urban Bangladesh: Unpacking Infrastructural and Cultural Challenges. EAI Endorsed Trans Perv Health Tech [Internet]. 2018 Jul. 24 [cited 2024 Jul. 19];4(14):e5. Available from:

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