Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan


Research has shown characteristics of individuals with ASD that have been exposed to trauma are difficult to determine. With more of trauma at an early age and the overshadowing of characteristics between trauma and ASD it will be difficult to determine where an individual is demonstrates ASD characteristics or PTSD characteristics. Evidence suggests that individuals with ASD are at an increased risk of exposure to trauma due to their social communication deficits and emotional control. Evidence shows that individuals with ASD experience substantially more trauma or traumatic childhood experiences which may contribute to greater chances of physical and mental trauma. PTSD diagnosed in individuals with ASD is due to "diagnostic overshadowing," which can lead to a misdiagnosis of problematic behaviors or anxieties. Responsive self-report measures and validation of established trauma evaluation measures for this population are required.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis