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Posted on Oct 11 2022 by Fiona Bailey

People who work with adults, young people and children who have autism are being called upon to participate in clinical research relating to trauma among those with the condition.

Dr Deborah Morris, Director of the St Andrew’s Healthcare Centre for Developmental and Complex Trauma, is inviting empirical research studies and opinion pieces on issues relevant to the trauma needs of autistic people.

The work will be published in a special edition of the internationally known Advances in Autism journal, of which Dr Morris has been invited to guest edit.

Dr Morris said: “Adults, young people and children who have autism are more likely to be exposed to trauma compared to neurotypical populations. However, autistic people are under-represented in trauma research, clinical trials and national policy.

“At present the trauma needs of autistic people are not well understood and can be missed, minimised or mis-formulated as ‘challenging behaviours’. Given the lifelong impact that psychological trauma can have, meeting the trauma needs of autistic people and increasing their visibility in the trauma fields are key priorities.

“Ensuring that the differential trauma needs of autistic people are acknowledged and included in clinical guidance and conceptual frameworks for trauma would be a significant step forward.”

The list of topics Dr Morris said the research can involve is vast and includes subjects such as specific types of trauma, including developmental, PTSD, Complex PTSD and Moral Injury; and the challenges of formulating these in autistic people.

The other suggested subjects for papers can be found here although relevant papers which fall outside of the proposed themes will also be considered.

For anybody who would like to discuss submitting content, please email Dr Morris directly on: