Meeting the trauma needs of Autistic people

Guest editor(s)
Dr Deborah Morris,


Autistic adults, young people and children are more likely to be exposed to trauma compared to neurotypical populations. Yet, 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.  

This special issue aims to collate new empirical research studies and opinion / conceptual pieces on issues relevant the trauma needs of autistic people, to increase recognition of the characteristics, support, service and treatment needs of this group; inclusive of staff and clinician training requirements, clinical utility of available assessments and to seek service user and carer perspectives.  


List of topic areas

We welcome original articles in the following areas: 

  • Epidemiology, etiology, associations, and impact of trauma in autistic people 
  • Disentangling and understanding the relationships between trauma and autism in meeting autistic people’s needs.  
  • Trauma frameworks and their utility to meet the needs of autistic people 
  • Specific types of trauma, including developmental, PTSD, Complex PTSD and Moral Injury; and the challenges of formulating these in autistic people 
  • The trauma needs of specific autistic populations, such as children, adults and older adults, forensic, prison, community, inpatient and displaced people  
  • Assessment and diagnosis of trauma presentations and associated needs in autistic people 
  • Trauma support for professional, informal and familial systems who have contact with people with autistic people with trauma needs (including joint pieces, commentaries or personal reflections from carers/service users) 
  • Innovations and challenges for trauma interventions and management approaches in autistic people 
  • Evaluations of quality improvement initiatives and evaluations of practice (e.g. staff training etc.), and articles addressing health policy or service provision 
  • Review articles and meta analyses 
  • Professional practice guidance relating to the process of diagnosing people with autism who have a significant history of trauma 

However, authors are of course welcome to submit relevant papers which fall outside of these themes. Please contact the Guest Editor, Dr Deborah Morris on: [email protected] for an informal discussion.  


Guest Editor

Dr Deborah Morris,

[email protected]


Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: 

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 


Key deadlines

Closing date for manuscripts submission: 31 August 2023   
Email for submission queries: [email protected]