Traumatic events can trigger autism, and this can occur from an early age. In addition to autism, these events can cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, there are treatments available for people suffering from this disorder. If you or a family member has experienced trauma, there are some signs to watch for.
Evidence that autism is caused by trauma
Although autism is still poorly understood, studies have shown that it is likely caused by trauma. Children who suffer from autism often experience traumatic events at an early age, which may also cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Research suggests that some children with autism experience trauma in different ways. In some cases, the child may experience several different types of trauma, and these different experiences may contribute to the onset of autism.
A recent study showed that children with ASD suffer from a higher incidence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These events include financial hardship, mental illness, substance abuse, and divorce. Children with ASD were twice as likely to experience four or more ACEs compared to their neurotypical peers. In addition, children with ASD show heightened arousal levels during novel situations and social interactions, as well as in response to unpleasant stimuli.
The findings from these interviews suggest that autism may be caused by trauma. While the incidence of PTSD is low in the autism population, researchers are still investigating whether the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD are sensitive enough to the signs of autism. As a result, Kerns is interviewing autistic children and adults, as well as caregivers for autistic people. Her research has led her to question the validity of existing theories.
Signs and symptoms of PTSD in autistic people
Symptoms of PTSD in autistic people can vary greatly. However, recognizing the signs and symptoms of PTSD can be an important step in preventing PTSD and developing effective treatments. Because autistic people’s brains are different from those of the general population, they are vulnerable to different types of traumatic experiences, such as traumatic brain injuries.
The current literature suggests that PTSD among adults with ASD may be at an increased risk. This is in line with existing research showing that autistic people have an increased risk of co-occurring mental health problems. There are several reasons for this heightened risk.
One reason for the increased risk of PTSD among autistic people is that they are not as capable of coping with trauma. Consequently, autistic people are more likely to experience trauma, and are more likely to register a wide range of events as trauma. Furthermore, autistic people may be more likely to exhibit more severe PTSD symptoms than adults. Ultimately, this means that a more proactive approach is needed in terms of preventing and treating PTSD in autistic people.
Treatment options for PTSD in autistic people
Treatment options for PTSD in autistic individuals vary, and there is no single treatment for this condition. However, some people with autism may be more likely to develop PTSD than others. Some studies have found that as many as 70 percent of children diagnosed with autism will also have a comorbid psychiatric disorder. Those with autistic traits are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, until a few years ago, PTSD symptoms in autistic individuals were overlooked by many researchers. While a small percentage of autistic individuals had been diagnosed with PTSD, most studies suggested that this number was less than three percent. This would be comparable to the rate for children without autism.
A few researchers have begun to investigate this association. The researchers are interviewing autistic children and adults, as well as caregivers of autistic individuals to learn more about the overlap between autism and PTSD. In a recent study, they recruited 130 people, including some children and adults who suffer from autism, and asked them to indicate where they were on the autism spectrum, as well as whether they had traditional symptoms of PTSD.
Ways to prevent PTSD in autistic people
The development of PTSD in autistic people is linked to interpersonal trauma. Studies show that approximately 20% of those who have experienced some form of trauma develop PTSD. This type of PTSD has many characteristics in common with autism, but the symptoms may be heightened in autistic people. Understanding this difference can help you treat and prevent the development of this condition in autistic people.
Regardless of the cause, trauma can be extremely disruptive to a person’s ability to function, and it may lead to substance abuse or depression. Fortunately, treatment can help patients reduce the impact of traumatic events and develop healthy coping strategies. Ultimately, the goal of therapy is to help people cope with trauma in the best way possible.
Research into how traumatic events affect a person’s well-being is needed. PTSD can be caused by a wide range of experiences. One study identified a variety of non-DSM-5 traumatic events as the catalyst for PTSD. The highest rates were reported for DSM-5 traumas, such as physical abuse, bullying, and sexual abuse. However, non-DSM-5 traumatic events included bereavement and trauma related to mental health issues.