Brief Report

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 977-981

First online:

Brief Report: Exposure and Response Prevention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in a 12-year-old with Autism

  • Heather D. LehmkuhlAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Florida Email author 
  • , Eric A. StorchAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of FloridaDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Florida
  • , James W. BodfishAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • , Gary R. GeffkenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of FloridaDepartment of Pediatrics, University of FloridaDepartment of Clinical Health Psychology, University of Florida

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves exaggerated or excessive worry about threatening and non-threatening stimuli coupled with impairing rituals believed to reduce anxiety. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairment in social and communicative activities as well as restricted and repetitive behaviors. Approximately 2% of children with ASD are also diagnosed with OCD. Although there is extensive research demonstrating the effectiveness of behavioral interventions for pediatric OCD, little is known about how effective these treatments are for children who have a dual diagnosis of OCD and ASD. This report describes a 12-year-old male with Autism who was treated successfully with cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure and response prevention. This case study provides initial support that cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in symptom reduction for children with comorbid autism and OCD.


Cognitive behavioral therapy Exposure and response prevention Autism Obsessive compulsive disorder