top of page

The Importance of Trauma-Informed Care for Autistic Students

A study in 2022 showed that 9 out of 10 Autistic Women Have Been Victims of Sexual Violence  with over 50% of them aged 15 or younger when first attacked.  

Evidence That Nine Autistic Women Out of Ten Have Been Victims of Sexual Violence - PubMed ( 


It's estimated that over 90% of people with an intellectual disability will be the victim of sexual abuse or assault, and about half will experience sexual abuse 10 times or more in their lives.”

Autism and Sexual Abuse: What to Know - FamilyEducation

Children with ASD are bullied by peers at a rate three to four times that of nondisabled peers with negative impacts on academic functioning and mental health symptoms, including increased risk for suicidality.  

Adverse childhood experiences in children with autism spectrum disorder - PubMed (


An experience that overwhelms our capacity to cope

          ⚬Overwhelmed by incoming stimuli.

          ⚬Inability to integrate sensory experiences through the nervous system. 


  • What contributes to overwhelm? 

    • Inescapability-the inability to change things around.

    • Feeling helpless- lack of secure attachment relationships

    • Perception is key-what is traumatizing to one person is not traumatizing to another.


Trauma and the Brain

Trauma-Informed care is so important because trauma can actually damage the brain.   When an individual's nervous system is dysregulated, the brain is stuck in fight or flight mode, and the brain stem dominates function instead of higher levels of the brain which are  involved in learning.  To Learn more click here 

Trauma and Behaviors

Trauma can cause automatic behaviors that are also associated with autism fight (aggression), flight (elopement), and freeze (dissociation).   Frequent trauma can actually cause the nervous system to be more sensitive to trauma.  There is an overlap of symptoms associated with both autism and PTSD.  Click here for more 

BEHAVIOR and trauma.png

What is Trauma-Informed Care

Being Trauma-Informed is not just the latest buzzword, it is an approach where all the staff is trained to realize the widespread impact of trauma, recognize the symptoms of trauma, and respond accordingly, and most importantly without retraumatization of the student.   To learn more click here 


Autistics are being traumatized in the current educational system that does not take neuro-differences into account and utilizes antiquated methodologies as CPI holds, isolation, or "planned ignoring" on students in distress.    When a child then exhibits PTSD-like symptoms schools blame it on the student's autism, when it is actually trauma from their programming.   

bottom of page