Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 11, pp 3475–3486 | Cite as

Traumatic Childhood Events and Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Connor Morrow KernsEmail author
  • Craig J. Newschaffer
  • Steven J. Berkowitz
S.I. : Emotion Regulation and Psychiatric Comorbidity in ASD


Traumatic childhood events are associated with a wide range of negative physical, psychological and adaptive outcomes over the life course and are one of the few identifiable causes of psychiatric illness. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be at increased risk for both encountering traumatic events and developing traumatic sequelae; however, this topic has been understudied. This review considers the rationale for examining traumatic events and related symptomology in individuals with ASD and summarizes the limited research on this topic. A conceptual framework for understanding the interplay of ASD, trauma and traumatic sequelae is proposed and recommendations for future research presented.


Autism spectrum disorder Trauma PTSD Traumatic stress Psychiatric comorbidity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Connor Morrow Kerns
    • 1
    Email author
  • Craig J. Newschaffer
    • 1
  • Steven J. Berkowitz
    • 2
  1. 1.A.J. Drexel Autism InstituteDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaUSA

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