Traumatic Childhood Events and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Ackerman, P. T., Newton, J. E., McPherson, W. B., Jones, J. G., & Dykman, R. A. (1998). Prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric diagnoses in three groups of abused children (sexual, physical, and both). Child Abuse and Neglect, 22, 759–774. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(98)00062-3.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Akirav, I., & Maroun, M. (2007). The role of the medial prefrontal cortex–amygdala circuit in stress effects on the extinction of fear. Neural Plasticity, 2007, 30873. doi:10.1155/2007/30873.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM 5 bookpointUS.

  4. Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., Bremner, J. D., Walker, J. D., Whitfield, C., Perry, B. D., & Giles, W. H. (2006). The enduring effects of abuse and related adverse experiences in childhood. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 256, 174–186. doi:10.1007/s00406-005-0624-4.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bakken, T. L., Helverschou, S. B., Eilertsen, D. E., Heggelund, T., Myrbakk, E., & Martinsen, H. (2010). Psychiatric disorders in adolescents and adults with autism and intellectual disability: A representative study in one county in norway. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31, 1669–1677. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2010.04.009.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Baumeister, D., Lightman, S. L., & Pariante, C. M. (2014). The interface of stress and the HPA axis in behavioural phenotypes of mental illness. In C. M. Pariante & M. D. Lapiz-Bluhm (Eds.), Behavioral neurobiology of stress-related disorders. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Ben-Sasson, A., Carter, A., & Briggs-Gowan, M. (2009). Sensory over-responsivity in elementary school: Prevalence and social-emotional correlates. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 705–716. doi:10.1007/s10802-008-9295-8.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Berkowitz, S. J., Stover, C. S., & Marans, S. R. (2011). The child and family traumatic stress intervention: Secondary prevention for youth at risk of developing PTSD. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 676–685. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02321.x.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Bettelheim, B. (1967). The empty fortress: Infantile autism and the birth of the self. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Bleil Walters, J., Hughes, T. L., Sutton, L. R., Marshall, S. N., Crothers, L. M., Lehman, C., & Huang, A. (2013). Maltreatment and depression in adolescent sexual offenders with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 22, 72–89. doi:10.1080/10538712.2013.735357.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Bremner, J. D., & Vermetten, E. (2001). Stress and development: Behavioral and biological consequences. Development and Psychopathology, 13, 473–489.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Brereton, A. V., Tonge, B. J., & Einfeld, S. L. (2006). Psychopathology in children and adolescents with autism compared to young people with intellectual disability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 863–870. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0125-y.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Breslau, N., Chen, Q., & Luo, Z. (2013). The role of intelligence in posttraumatic stress disorder: Does it vary by trauma severity? PLoS ONE, 8, e65391. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065391.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Briere, J. (1996). Trauma symptom checklist for children. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Briere, J., Johnson, K., Bissada, A., Damon, L., Crouch, J., Gil, E., et al. (2001). The Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC): Reliability and association with abuse exposure in a multi-site study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 25, 1001–1014. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(01)00253-8.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Bryson, S. A., Corrigan, S. K., McDonald, T. P., & Holmes, C. (2008). Characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorders who received services through community mental health centers. Autism, 12, 65–82. doi:10.1177/1362361307085214.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Cassidy, S., Bradley, P., Robinson, J., Allison, C., McHugh, M., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2014). Suicidal ideation and suicide plans or attempts in adults with Asperger’s syndrome attending a specialist diagnostic clinic: A clinical cohort study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1, 142–147. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70248-2.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among children aged 8 years: Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, united states, 2010. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 63, 1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Chamberlain, R. S., & Herman, B. H. (1990). A novel biochemical model linking dysfunctions in brain melatonin, proopiomelanocortin peptides, and serotonin in autism. Biological Psychiatry, 28, 773–793.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Cohen, J. A., Bukstein, O., Walter, H., Benson, R. S., Chrisman, A., Farchione, T. R., & Schoettle, U. (2010). Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 414–430. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2009.12.020.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Cohen, J. A., & Scheeringa, M. S. (2009). Post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis in children: Challenges and promises. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 11, 91.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Cook, A., Spinazzola, J., Ford, J., Lanktree, C., Blaustein, M., Cloitre, M., & Mallah, K. (2005). Complex trauma. Psychiatric Annals, 35, 390–398.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Copeland, W. E., Keeler, G., Angold, A., & Costello, E. J. (2007). Traumatic events and posttraumatic stress in childhood. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 577–584. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.64.5.577.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Corbett, B. A., Mendoza, S., Abdullah, M., Wegelin, J. A., & Levine, S. (2006). Cortisol circadian rhythms and response to stress in children with autism. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 31, 59–68.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Corbett, B. A., Mendoza, S., Wegelin, J. A., Carmean, V., & Levine, S. (2008). Variable cortisol circadian rhythms in children with autism and anticipatory stress. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience: JPN, 33, 227.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Corbett, B. A., Schupp, C. W., Levine, S., & Mendoza, S. (2009). Comparing cortisol, stress, and sensory sensitivity in children with autism. Autism Research, 2, 39–49.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Croen, L. A., Najjar, D. V., Ray, G. T., Lotspeich, L., & Bernal, P. (2006). A comparison of health care utilization and costs of children with and without autism spectrum disorders in a large group-model health plan. Pediatrics, 118, e1203–e1211. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-0127.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Curry, K., Posluszny, M, & Kraska, S. (1993). Training criminal justice personnel to recognize offenders with disabilities. Washington, DC: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services News in Print.

  29. Danese, A., & McEwen, B. S. (2012). Adverse childhood experiences, allostasis, allostatic load, and age-related disease. Physiology and Behavior, 106, 29–39.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Davis, T. E., I. I. I., Fodstad, J. C., Jenkins, W. S., Hess, J. A., Moree, B. N., Dempsey, T., & Matson, J. L. (2010). Anxiety and avoidance in infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: Evidence for differing symptom severity and presentation. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 305–313. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2009.10.002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. de Bruin, E. I., Ferdinand, R. F., Meester, S., de Nijs, P. F., & Verheij, F. (2007). High rates of psychiatric co-morbidity in PDD-NOS. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 877–886. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0215-x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Evans, D. W., Canavera, K., Kleinpeter, F. L., Maccubbin, E., & Taga, K. (2005). The fears, phobias and anxieties of children with autism spectrum disorders and down syndrome: Comparisons with developmentally and chronologically age matched children. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 36, 3–26. doi:10.1007/s10578-004-3619-x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Felitti, M., Vincent, J., Anda, M., Robert, F., Nordenberg, M., Williamson, M., & Edwards, B. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The adverse childhood experiences (ACE) study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14, 245–258. doi:10.1016/S0749-3797(98)00017-8.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., Turner, H., & Hamby, S. L. (2005). The victimization of children and youth: A comprehensive, national survey. Child Maltreatment, 10, 5–25. doi:10.1177/1077559504271287.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Fitzpatrick, K. M., & Boldizar, J. P. (1993). The prevalence and consequences of exposure to violence among African-American youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 32, 424–430. doi:10.1097/00004583-199303000-00026.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Ford, J. D., & Courtois, C. A. (2009). Defining and understanding complex trauma and complex traumatic stress disorders. In C. A. Courtois & J. D. Ford (Eds.), Treating complex traumatic stress disorders: An evidence-based guide. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Ford, J. D., & Rogers, K. (1997). Traumatic events screening inventory (TESI). Hanover, NH: National Center for PTSD.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Gerson, R., & Rappaport, N. (2012). Traumatic stress and posttraumatic stress disorder in youth: Recent research findings on clinical impact, assessment, and treatment. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52, 137–143. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.06.018.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Gilboa, A., Shalev, A. Y., Laor, L., Lester, H., Louzoun, Y., Chisin, R., & Bonne, O. (2004). Functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala in posttraumatic stress disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 55, 263–272. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2003.08.004.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Gillott, A., Furniss, F., & Walter, A. (2001). Anxiety in high-functioning children with autism. Autism, 5, 277–286. doi:10.1177/1362361301005003005.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Gillott, A., & Standen, P. J. (2007). Levels of anxiety and sources of stress in adults with autism. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 11, 359–370.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Grant, M. M., Cannistraci, C., Hollon, S. D., Gore, J., & Shelton, R. (2011). Childhood trauma history differentiates amygdala response to sad faces within MDD. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45, 886–895. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.12.004.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Groden, J., Baron, M. G., & Groden, G. (2006). Assessment and coping strategies. In M. G. Baron, J. Groden, G. Groden, & L. P. Lipsitt (Eds.), Stress and coping in autism. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Groden, J., Diller, A., Bausman, M., Velicer, W., Norman, G., & Cautela, J. (2001). The development of a stress survey schedule for persons with autism and other developmental disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 207–217.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Grondhuis, S. N., & Aman, M. G. (2012). Assessment of anxiety in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 1345–1365. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2012.04.006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Grosso, K. (2012). Students traumatized in special education across America, seclusion, restraint, and aversives. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/autism-in-real-life/201201/students-traumatized-in-special-education-across-america-seclusion-r.

  47. Hall-Lande, J., Hewitt, A., Mishra, S., Piescher, K., & LaLiberte, T. (2014). Involvement of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the child protection system. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. Published online ahead of print. doi:10.1177/1088357614539834.

  48. Happé, F., & Frith, U. (2006). The weak coherence account: Detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 5–25. doi:10.1007/s10803-005-0039-0.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Hart, H., & Rubia, K. (2012). Neuroimaging of child abuse: a critical review. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 52. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00052.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Hibbard, R. A., & Desch, L. W. (2007). Maltreatment of children with disabilities. Pediatrics, 119, 1018–1025. doi:10.1542/peds.2007-0565.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Hill, E. L. (2004). Executive dysfunction in autism. Trends in cognitive sciences, 8, 26–32. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2003.11.003.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Howlin, P., & Clements, J. (1995). Is it possible to assess the impact of abuse on children with pervasive developmental disorders? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 25, 337–354. doi:10.1007/BF02179372.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Ingram, R. E., & Luxton, D. D. (2005). Vulnerability-stress models. In B. L. Hankin & J. R. Z. Abela (Eds.), Development of psychopathology: A vulnerability-stress perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Jansen, L. M., Gispen-de Wied, C. C., van der Gaag, R. J., & van Engeland, H. (2003). Differentiation between autism and multiple complex developmental disorder in response to psychosocial stress. Neuropsychopharmacology, 28, 582–590.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Jones, C. R., Pickles, A., Falcaro, M., Marsden, A. J., Happé, F., Scott, S. K., et al. (2011). A multimodal approach to emotion recognition ability in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 275–285. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02328.x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Kerns, C. M., & Kendall, P. C. (2012). The presentation and classification of anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 19, 323–347. doi:10.1111/cpsp.12009.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Kerns, C. M., Kendall, P. C., Berry, L., Souders, M. C., Franklin, M. E., Schultz, R. T., et al. (2014). Traditional and atypical presentations of anxiety in youth with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 2851–2861.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Kerns, C. M., Maddox, B. B., Kendall, P. C., Rump, K., Berry, L., Schultz, R. T., Souders, M. C., Bennett, A., Herrington, J., & Miller, J. (2015). Brief measures of anxiety in non-treatment seeking youth with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. Retrieved from http://aut.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/01/28/1362361314558465.full.pdf?ijkey=qrw3NRfmoZBjziz&keytype=finite.

  59. Koenen, K. C., Moffitt, T. E., Poulton, R., Martin, J., & Caspi, A. (2007). Early childhood factors associated with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder: Results from a longitudinal birth cohort. Psychological Medicine, 37, 181–192. doi:10.1017/S0033291706009019.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Kramer, D. N., & Landolt, M. A. (2011). Characteristics and efficacy of early psychological interventions in children and adolescents after single trauma: A meta-analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology,. doi:10.3402/ejpt.v2i0.7858.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  61. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1987). Transactional theory and research on emotions and coping. European Journal of Personality, 1, 141–169. doi:10.1002/per.2410010304.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Lecavalier, L., Wood, J. J., Halladay, A. K., Jones, N. E., Aman, M. G., Cook, E. H., et al. (2014). Measuring anxiety as a treatment endpoint in youth with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 1128–1143. doi:10.1007/s10802-007-9165-9.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Lee, L., Harrington, R. A., Chang, J. J., & Connors, S. L. (2008). Increased risk of injury in children with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 29, 247–255. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2007.05.002.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Levy, S. E., Giarelli, E., Lee, L. C., Schieve, L. A., Kirby, R. S., Cunniff, C., et al. (2010). Autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring developmental, psychiatric, and medical conditions among children in multiple populations of the United States. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 31, 267–275.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Leyfer, O. T., Folstein, S. E., Bacalman, S., Davis, N. O., Dinh, E., Morgan, J., & Lainhart, J. E. (2006). Comorbid psychiatric disorders in children with autism: Interview development and rates of disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 849–861. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0123-0.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Lokhandwala, T., Khanna, R., & West-Strum, D. (2012). Hospitalization burden among individuals with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 95–104. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1217-x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Mandell, D. S., Walrath, C. M., Manteuffel, B., Sgro, G., & Pinto-Martin, J. A. (2005). The prevalence and correlates of abuse among children with autism served in comprehensive community-based mental health settings. Child Abuse and Neglect, 29, 1359–1372. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2005.06.006.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Mansell, S., Sobsey, D., & Moskal, R. (1998). Clinical findings among sexually abused children with and without developmental disabilities. Mental Retardation, 36, 12–22.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Matson, J. L., & Nebel-Schwalm, M. S. (2007). Comorbid psychopathology with autism spectrum disorder in children: An overview. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 341–352. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2005.12.004.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Mazefsky, C. A., Herrington, J., Siegel, M., Scarpa, A., Maddox, B. B., Scahill, L., & White, S. W. (2013). The role of emotion regulation in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52, 679–688. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.05.006.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Mazefsky, C., Kao, J., & Oswald, D. (2011). Preliminary evidence suggesting caution in the use of psychiatric self-report measures with adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 164–174. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.03.006.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Mazefsky, C. A., Oswald, D. P., Day, T. N., Eack, S. M., Minshew, N. J., & Lainhart, J. E. (2012). ASD, a psychiatric disorder, or both? psychiatric diagnoses in adolescents with high-functioning ASD. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 41, 516–523. doi:10.1080/15374416.2012.686102.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Mazefsky, C. A., & White, S. W. (2014). Emotion regulation: Concepts and practice in autism spectrum disorder. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 23, 15–24. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2013.07.002.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  74. McDermott, S., Zhou, L., & Mann, J. (2008). Injury treatment among children with autism or pervasive developmental disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 626–633. doi:10.1007/s10803-007-0426-9.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Mehtar, M., & Mukaddes, N. M. (2011). Posttraumatic stress disorder in individuals with diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 539–546. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.06.020.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Mevissen, L., & De Jongh, A. (2010). PTSD and its treatment in people with intellectual disabilities: A review of the literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 308–316. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.06.020.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Morris, A. S., Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S. S., & Robinson, L. R. (2007). The role of the family context in the development of emotion regulation. Social Development, 16, 361–388. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00389.x.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Muris, P., Steerneman, P., Merckelbach, H., Holdrinet, I., & Meesters, C. (1998). Comorbid anxiety symptoms in children with pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 12, 387–393. doi:10.1016/S0887-6185(98)00022-X.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Newschaffer, C. J., Croen, L. A., Daniels, J., Giarelli, E., Grether, J. K., Levy, S. E., & Reaven, J. (2007). The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders. Annual Review of Public Health, 28, 235–258. doi:10.1146/annurev.publhealth.28.021406.144007.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Orsmond, G. I., Krauss, M. W., & Seltzer, M. M. (2004). Peer relationships and social and recreational activities among adolescents and adults with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 245–256. doi:10.1023/B:JADD.0000029547.96610.df.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Ozonoff, S., Cook, I., Coon, H., Dawson, G., Joseph, R. M., Klin, A., et al. (2004). Performance on Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery subtests sensitive to frontal lobe function in people with autistic disorder: Evidence from the Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism network. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 139–150. doi:10.1023/B:JADD.0000022605.81989.cc.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  82. Pechtel, P., & Pizzagalli, D. A. (2011). Effects of early life stress on cognitive and affective function: An integrated review of human literature. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 214, 55–70. doi:10.1007/s00213-010-2009-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Pugliese, C. E., & White, S. W. (2014). Brief report: Problem solving therapy in college students with autism spectrum disorders: Feasibility and preliminary efficacy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 719–729. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1914-8.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  84. Reiter, S., Bryen, D. N., & Shachar, I. (2007). Adolescents with intellectual disabilities as victims of abuse. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 11, 371–387.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Rieffe, C., Terwogt, M. M., & Kotronopoulou, K. (2007). Awareness of single and multiple emotions in high-functioning children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 455–465. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0171-5.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Rump, K. M., Giovannelli, J. L., Minshew, N. J., & Strauss, M. S. (2009). The development of emotion recognition in individuals with autism. Child Development, 80, 1434–1447. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01343.x.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  87. Scahill, L. (2012). Commentary on Kerns and Kendall. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 19(4), 348–351.

    Google Scholar 

  88. Scheeringa, M. S., Peebles, C. D., Cook, C. A., & Zeanah, C. H. (2001). Toward establishing procedural, criterion, and discriminant validity for PTSD in early childhood. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 52–60. doi:10.1097/00004583-200101000-00016.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  89. Scheeringa, M. S., Zeanah, C. H., Drell, M. J., & Larrieu, J. A. (1995). Two approaches to the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder in infancy and early childhood. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 191–200. doi:10.1097/00004583-199502000-00014.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  90. Scheeringa, M. S., Zeanah, C. H., Myers, L., & Putnam, F. W. (2003). New findings on alternative criteria for PTSD in preschool children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 42, 561–570. doi:10.1177/1744629507084602.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  91. Schilling, E. A., Aseltine, R. H., & Gore, S. (2007). Adverse childhood experiences and mental health in young adults: A longitudinal survey. BMC Public Health, 7, 30.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  92. Settipani, C. A., Puleo, C. M., Conner, B. T., & Kendall, P. C. (2012). Characteristics and anxiety symptom presentation associated with autism spectrum traits in youth with anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26, 459–467. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.01.010.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  93. Sherin, J. E., & Nemeroff, C. B. (2011). Post-traumatic stress disorder: The neurobiological impact of psychological trauma. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 13, 263.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  94. Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Charman, T., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., & Baird, G. (2008). Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence, comorbidity, and associated factors in a population-derived sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 921–929. doi:10.1097/CHI.0b013e318179964f.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  95. Smith, P., Perrin, S., Dalgleish, T., Meiser-Stedman, R., Clark, D. M., & Yule, W. (2013). Treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 26, 66–72. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e32835b2c01.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  96. Solomon, L., & Peltz, L. (2008). Separation, autism, and residential treatment. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 17, 26.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  97. Spencer, N., Devereux, E., Wallace, A., Sundrum, R., Shenoy, M., Bacchus, C., & Logan, S. (2005). Disabling conditions and registration for child abuse and neglect: A population-based study. Pediatrics, 116, 609–613. doi:10.1542/peds.2004-1882.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  98. Stevens, N. R., Gerhart, J., Goldsmith, R. E., Heath, N. M., Chesney, S. A., & Hobfoll, S. E. (2013). Emotion regulation difficulties, low social support, and interpersonal violence mediate the link between childhood abuse and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Behavior Therapy, 44, 152–161. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2012.09.003.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  99. Storch, E. A., Sulkowski, M. L., Nadeau, J., Lewin, A. B., Arnold, E. B., Mutch, P. J., & Murphy, T. K. (2013). The phenomenology and clinical correlates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 2450–2459. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1795-x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  100. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). Concept of trauma and guidance for a trauma-informed approach. Retrieved July 2014, from http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SAMHSA-s-Concept-of-Trauma-and-Guidance-for-a-Trauma-Informed-Approach/SMA14-4884.

  101. Sullivan, P. M., & Knutson, J. F. (2000). Maltreatment and disabilities: A population-based epidemiological study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 24, 1257–1273. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(00)00190-3.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  102. Tell, D., Davidson, D., & Camras, L. A. (2014). Recognition of emotion from facial expressions with direct or averted eye gaze and varying expression intensities in children with autism disorder and typically developing children. Autism Research and Treatment,. doi:10.1155/2014/816137.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  103. Tull, M. T., Barrett, H. M., McMillan, E. S., & Roemer, L. (2007). A preliminary investigation of the relationship between emotion regulation difficulties and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Behavior Therapy, 38, 303–313. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2006.10.001.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  104. Turner, H. A., Finkelhor, D., & Ormrod, R. (2010). Poly-victimization in a national sample of children and youth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 38, 323–330. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2009.11.012.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  105. Tyrka, A., Burgers, D., Philip, N., Price, L., & Carpenter, L. (2013). The neurobiological correlates of childhood adversity and implications for treatment. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 128, 434–447. doi:10.1111/acps.12143.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  106. Uljarevic, M., & Hamilton, A. (2013). Recognition of emotions in autism: A formal meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(7), 1517–1526. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1695-5.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  107. Valenti, M., Ciprietti, T., Di Egidio, C., Gabrielli, M., Masedu, F., Tomassini, A. R., & Sorge, G. (2012). Adaptive response of children and adolescents with autism to the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 954–960. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1323-9.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  108. van der Kolk, Bessel. A., Roth, S., Pelcovitz, D., Sunday, S., & Spinazzola, J. (2005). Disorders of extreme stress: The empirical foundation of a complex adaptation to trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18, 389–399. doi:10.1002/jts.20047.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  109. van Steensel, F. J., Bögels, S. M., & Perrin, S. (2011). Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 302–317. doi:10.1007/s10567-011-0097-0.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  110. White, S. W., Mazefsky, C. A., Dichter, G. S., Chiu, P. H., Richey, J. A., & Ollendick, T. H. (2014). Social-cognitive, physiological and neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation impairments: Understanding anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 39, 22–36.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  111. White, S. W., & Roberson-Nay, R. (2009). Anxiety, social deficits, and loneliness in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 1006–1013. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0713-8.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  112. Wicks, S., Hjern, A., Gunnell, D., Lewis, G., & Dalman, C. (2005). Social adversity in childhood and the risk of developing psychosis: A national cohort study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 1652–1657. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.9.1652.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  113. Williams, L. M., Kemp, A. H., Felmingham, K., Barton, M., Olivieri, G., Peduto, A., & Bryant, R. A. (2006). Trauma modulates amygdala and medial prefrontal responses to consciously attended fear. NeuroImage, 29, 347–357. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.03.047.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  114. Wood, J. J., & Gadow, K. D. (2010). Exploring the nature and function of anxiety in youth with autism spectrum disorders. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 17, 281–292. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2850.2010.01220.x.

    Google Scholar 

  115. Yehuda, R. (2001). Biology of posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 62, 41–46.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  116. Zablotsky, B., Bradshaw, C. P., Anderson, C., & Law, P. A. (2013). The association between bullying and the psychological functioning of children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 34, 1–8. doi:10.1097/DBP.0b013e31827a7c3a.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Connor Morrow Kerns.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kerns, C.M., Newschaffer, C.J. & Berkowitz, S.J. Traumatic Childhood Events and Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 45, 3475–3486 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2392-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Trauma
  • PTSD
  • Traumatic stress
  • Psychiatric comorbidity