Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Autism spectrum disorder, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Trauma, Trauma assessment, Psychoeducation, Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Multidisciplinary treatment, Autism
Patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are particularly vulnerable to traumatic experiences and further development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Underlying traumatic stress is commonly missed and remained untreated in the autism population. In a previous pilot study, Hanson and Richards (2021) gathered providers’ understandings on trauma and autism The current study is a further, systemic content analysis on archival data from Hanson and Richard’s pilot study. Results from the current content analysis of the responses to Question 1 (How do you assess for trauma in your patients?) revealed that providers assess patients’ trauma primarily by interviewing caregiver and patients, as well as by behavioral observations. Responses to Question 2 (What is your definition of trauma?) indicated that some providers define trauma based on the DSM-V-TR PTSD diagnostic criteria. Finally, results about Question 3 (What would you like to learn, if anything, about trauma as it relates to the neurodiverse population?) revealed that providers are interested in learning more about trauma in general and assessment and treatment tools specific for individuals with autism. Conclusions from the current study include that there is a need for provider education on trauma and autism, as well as development of standardized trauma assessment measures and treatments normed on patients diagnosed with autism. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
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Hanson, Leah, "A Qualitative Analysis of Treatment Providers’ Understanding and Assessment of Trauma and Autism" (2023). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 504.