November 22nd 2023. 6-8pm. Workshop

An introduction to autistic and related neurodivergent trauma, complex-post traumatic stress, new social-cognitive science and working with traumatised autistic clients using elements of the Autism Dialogue Approach®.

Autistic trauma is a negative emotional response to an adverse event or series of events. Many autistic people present with cumulative (or complex) trauma (c-PTSD). Causes of trauma are subjective, and many would not be recognised in the current diagnostic process. Autistic people are subjected to a neuro-normative deficit narrative and present in mental health and therapy settings with flashbacks, dissociation and delayed emotional processing.

Autistic trauma is often mistaken or minimised as ‘drama’, ‘attention seeking’, ‘being controlling’, or ‘being unreasonably anti-social’. It can gridlock the brain’s roads, limiting processing room for other things. It can create traumatic associations with places, words, phrases, people or activities. We will look at masking and other trauma responses. Literature has presented masking as a social strategy – a way of getting by or fitting in in social situations. However, autistic people describe how masking is not necessarily about appearing more neurotypical; it’s the trauma-fuelled projection of an acceptable and expected version of yourself to those around you that keeps you safe.

Accessing and utilising therapy can be a challenge for autistic and neurodivergent clients, compared to the general population. Equally, therapists are facing major challenges when interacting and communicating across neurotypes, potentially triggering and re-traumatising autistic people.



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *