Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

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

Traumatic Childhood Events and Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Connor Morrow Kerns
  • 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 


  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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM 5 bookpointUS.Google Scholar
  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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bremner, J. D., & Vermetten, E. (2001). Stress and development: Behavioral and biological consequences. Development and Psychopathology, 13, 473–489.CrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.Google Scholar
  29. Danese, A., & McEwen, B. S. (2012). Adverse childhood experiences, allostasis, allostatic load, and age-related disease. Physiology and Behavior, 106, 29–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.CrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gillott, A., Furniss, F., & Walter, A. (2001). Anxiety in high-functioning children with autism. Autism, 5, 277–286. doi: 10.1177/1362361301005003005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Grosso, K. (2012). Students traumatized in special education across America, seclusion, restraint, and aversives. Psychology Today. Retrieved from
  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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Hibbard, R. A., & Desch, L. W. (2007). Maltreatment of children with disabilities. Pediatrics, 119, 1018–1025. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-0565.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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
  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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle 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.CrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.CrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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/ 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.CrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Solomon, L., & Peltz, L. (2008). Separation, autism, and residential treatment. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 17, 26.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). Concept of trauma and guidance for a trauma-informed approach. Retrieved July 2014, from
  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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle 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.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations