Inclusive research involves people with intellectual disabilities actively and strives for empowerment and normalisation. Less is written about the power dynamics in a research team consisting of researchers and people with intellectual disabilities and the possible value of such collaboration. In this auto-ethnography we reflect on these aspects and the challenges along the way. We conclude that striving for normalisation can be paralysing; ‘doing the same’ is not always possible and can be disempowering for all members of the research team. Acknowledging differences and uniqueness enriches research outcomes and makes us reflect on our own, sometimes rigid, academic frameworks.