Individuals with ASD experience dissociative symptoms or feelings of detachment; this is what makes ASD different from PTSD.
People with ASD may feel emotionally detached from their lives and emotionally numb. The world may seem unreal. Dissociation can last a few seconds, hours, or even days. During the dissociation, the individual relives the event and may behave in a manner as if they were experiencing the event in that moment. Some patients also experience dissociative amnesia, which makes recalling precise details of the traumatic event difficult. Detachment has been described by some as akin to seeing oneself from the other side of the room or having a distorted view of their surroundings.
Anger, aggressive responses, and irritability can also be a common response. The individual may re-experience the traumatic event through intrusive spontaneous or recurring memories. The intrusive memories are often triggered by sensory, emotional, or physiological experiences which leads to avoidance of these triggering experiences. Distressing dreams related to the trauma are commonly experienced, as well as panic attacks, sleep difficulties, and impulsive behaviors.