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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter summarizes current scientific knowledge around the prevalence, etiology, and developmental course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adults in the general population, and—based on the limited scientific literature—what is indicated for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Challenges related to differential diagnosis and measurement of PTSD in ASD are considered and illustrated via a case example. The chapter concludes with an overview of evidence-based treatments for PTSD in people without ASD, and their potential applications for those with ASD. Overall, the limited research on PTSD in ASD thus far points to increased rates of adversity and related psychopathology, but few evidence-based approaches to assessment or treatment of PTSD and other trauma-related symptoms in this population. Future investigations should consider not only PTSD in ASD but also a broader range of potential sources and symptoms of trauma in ASD and work quickly to identify empirically supported assessments and treatments.

Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder, autism spectrum disorder, assessment, treatment, comorbidity

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