This site uses cookies.

Treating Trauma Amongst People on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Dr Laura Findlay, Clinical Psychologist with Applied Psychology Solutions & Dr Kathryn Newns, Clinical Psychologist with Hugh Koch Associates

24/07/14. Traumatic events can overwhelm a person’s ability to cope and can lead to serious long-term negative consequences for their mental health (in PI work we see individuals following trauma who are experiencing psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, phobic responses, and sometimes more severe responses such as acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder). They may also experience problems with relationships and self-esteem. Each person will respond uniquely to a traumatic event, dependent on their personality, temperament and life experience.

People on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically encounter lifelong difficulties with language and communication, initiating and maintaining personal relationships, and have narrowed areas of interest. People with ASD share many risk factors with people with intellectual disabilities which make them more vulnerable to experiencing trauma (King, 2010). They most commonly experience trauma as witnessing or being victim to accidents/disasters/violence (Mehtar & Mukaddes, 2011). However, in this population, what may be perceived as a minor accident to someone without ASD, can be a severe and potentially catastrophic event to someone with this diagnosis.

How a person with an ASD responds to a traumatic event is likely to depend on several factors...

Image ©

Read more (PIBULJ subscribers only)...

All information on this site was believed to be correct by the relevant authors at the time of writing. All content is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No liability is accepted by either the publisher or the author(s) for any errors or omissions (whether negligent or not) that it may contain. 

The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

Professional advice should always be obtained before applying any information to particular circumstances.

Excerpts from judgments and statutes are Crown copyright. Any Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland under the Open Government Licence.