AUTISM TRAUMA AND PTSD
There are many overlapping symptoms associated with both Autism and PTSD such as lack of interest in peers, failure to show emotions/affect, repetitive play, outbursts, and sleeping difficulties. Autism and PTSD: Similarities and Differences | Psychology Today
The goal of many school programs is to have autistic students become indistinguishable to their peers. This is obviously creating consequences for the mental health and wellbeing of the autistic student based on the current suicide, bullying, and assault statistics.
Are We Giving Autistic Children PTSD From School? | Psychology Today Canada
As we begin to listen more closely to autistic adults, we realize that our current language around the differences between neurotypical sensory systems and those of autistics have been toned down to be more compatible of our use of behavioral modifications in the school settings. What autistic adults are bringing to our attention is that it is not sensory 'sensitivity' which sounds like an overreaction to sensory stimuli, but instead a correct way of referring to this is sensory 'pain'. When you switch to more appropriate language it breaks down the evidence-based practice ABA methods that we are told everyone is subject to. For example, behaviorists will say that we are given 'rewards' for working and 'punishment' for speeding in our car. Neither of these scenarios bring pain into the equation. How many neurotypicals would go to work if they were constantly subjected to pain, even if they were receiving a paycheck, and how many would drive the speed limit if that caused them pain, even if the consequence was receiving a ticket?
This incorrect description may have been brought about by the false notion that autistic's do not feel pain. Self-injurious behaviors and the absence of neurotypical pain responses is what is fueling the confusion. Also the lack of neurotypicals being able to take an autistic perspective. A recent article on the subject sheds more light on the topic.
We also must realize in utilizing behavioral type programs that 'desensitizing' autistics to sensory stimuli has been proven to be ineffective. In these ways we could be contributing to trauma, and in cases where the trauma is chronic and the student feels unsupported, we could be creating PTSD.