Do we need an adapted ACE’s screening tool to capture autistic experiences of trauma?

Every day experiences of feeling different, being bullied because of differences. Not having needs met in school, college and relationships. Feeling overwhelmed by our environment – are experiences that are potentially traumatising.

How are these experiences being captured within the systems and services that are meant to be supporting autistic children and adults?

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

Listen to Nadine’s TED Talk on How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime 

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