The present paper follows up the theme of research ethics that has been discussed in the British Journal of Learning Disabilities in recent years. We join the debate in the capacity of people involved in doing research on, rather than with, people with learning disabilities. We focus on our own quasi-experimental study evaluating the Intensive Interaction approach for pupils who are preverbal. We question our own practice, and illustrate some of the dilemmas which we have faced in our research and some of the compromises which we have reached.[ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR].