Cognitive-Behavioral Group Treatment for Anxiety Symptoms in Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders
University of Colorado, Denver
Children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are at high risk for developing anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) are frequently used for children and adolescents with anxiety symptoms with good success. Recent studies have demonstrated a reduction of anxiety symptoms in children with ASD following group CBT interventions. The present study will examine the effectiveness of CBT in treating anxiety in adolescents with ASD. Dr. Reaven and colleagues will develop modified CBT protocols for use with high school students with high-functioning forms of ASD and clinically significant anxiety. They will conduct initial studies using this protocol to treat 32 students with ASD and anxiety, assessing the feasibility and efficacy of this treatment, and making modifications where necessary. This research will provide the basis for a larger, randomized trial to assess the use of CBT to treat anxiety in adolescents with ASD.