Many adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder experience difficulty with symptoms of depression. These symptoms can contribute to poor quality of life and lack of independence for adolescents and adults. To better understand these symptoms, we conducted a review of articles that examined the presentation of depression specific to autism spectrum disorder. Our goals in conducting this study were (1) to examine whether depression may be associated with symptoms that are common among people with autism spectrum disorder, such as loneliness or poor social motivation; (2) to determine whether people with autism spectrum disorder experience depression in a different way than the general population; and (3) to add to other recent studies that have examined how common depression is in autism spectrum disorder and how it is typically measured. Our study reviewed 48 papers on this topic. Results showed that a substantial proportion of people with autism spectrum disorder experience significant symptoms of depression. We related our results to social factors commonly studied in this field (i.e. social motivation) and proposed a new model for the development of depression in this population.