Recognizing the Signs of Victimization in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Recognizing the Signs of Victimization in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2019-12-05
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Recognizing the Signs of Victimization in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Unit 2 Workbook: Recognizing the Signs of Victimization in Children with ASD
Unit 3 Recording: Recognizing the Signs of Victimization in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

On the first installment of this webinar series, Dr. Wes Dotson provided a comprehensive introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In this session, Dr. Michael Gomez will talk about the concept of traumatic stress on individuals with ASD as well as resources and tools when working with those with ASD as well as struggling with trauma exposure.

Dr. Michael Gomez is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Superheroes at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Department of Pediatrics and Adjunct Professor at Texas Tech University Psychological Sciences. He specializes in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), and assessment of autism spectrum disorders.

Specific topics he discussed in this session are:

  • An overview of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study – the prevalence of ACEs, how it manifests, and its impacts.
  • The Population Attributable Risk (PAR) study that illustrated the outcomes which will be reduced by eliminating ACEs.
  • A look into the ACE pyramid representing the common trajectory of someone with ACEs and the importance of intervening early on.
  • Understanding the most common diagnoses for maltreated children and diagnoses supported by evidence.
  • The characteristics of someone suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the symptoms typically observed, and common coping strategies.
  • Developmental trauma, the context it occurs in, its triggers and coping strategies.
  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
    • Their Road to Recovery tool, what it is and its inclusions.
    • Their website and the resources they provide for different audiences who interact with children with IDD and experiencing trauma.
  • Debunking myths about children with IDD and statistics that demonstrate why this segment is at risk for trauma.
  • Trauma-Focused (TF) CBT as the most reliable and scientifically supported treatment option that may be used for children with trauma and ASD.
  • How a TF CBT session goes, its phases, and a demonstration of the workbook used.
  • The concept of vicarious trauma or secondary trauma that mental health care workers are at risk of.
  • Symptoms of vicarious trauma that may be observed from people working with the trauma population.
  • Common approaches to vicarious trauma and what’s the best method to deal with and overcome it.
  • Gomez clarified questions from the audience about:
    • The link between ASD and ACEs.
    • Resources that may be used for youth with ASD.
    • The ACE Study’s sampling and how it affected outcomes.
    • Probing on details of victimization without ‘leading’.
    • Disruption of neurodevelopment n teenagers.
    • How to diagnose PTSD, ASD and major depressive disorders.
    • The similarities and distinction between complex PTSD and developmental trauma.
    • Dealing with trauma and anxiety in non-verbal children with ASD.


This is the second of a 4 part series, including:


Audience Comments:

  • “Good Overview of effective ways to work with children with PTSD and their parents/primary caregivers. (Utilizing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Therapy).” — Carmelyn
  • “I learned about the various things to take into consideration with working with our youth in order to possibly identify causes for behavior, which enables us to properly direct the child and parents to the appropriate mental health resources.” — Bruce
  • “The webinar was well organized and gave me the opportunity to refresh my learning!!” — Debora
  • “Speaker is very engaging and knowledgeable. Appreciated the “what works” and what “doesn’t work.” — Debbie
  • “Dr. Michael Gomez provided a tremendous amount of resources! Thank you!” — Loretta


Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: Recognizing the Signs of Victimization in Children with ASD. Q&A with Dr. Michael Gomez
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