The Coping Cat Program for Children with Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
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- McNally Keehn, R.H., Lincoln, A.J., Brown, M.Z. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 57. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1541-9
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The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate whether a modified version of the Coping Cat program could be effective in reducing anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Twenty-two children (ages 8–14; IQ ≥ 70) with ASD and clinically significant anxiety were randomly assigned to 16 sessions of the Coping Cat program (cognitive-behavioral therapy; CBT) or a 16-week waitlist. Children in the CBT condition evidenced significantly larger reductions in anxiety than those in the waitlist. Treatment gains were largely maintained at two-month follow-up. Results provide preliminary evidence that a modified version of the Coping Cat program may be a feasible and effective program for reducing clinically significant levels of anxiety in children with high-functioning ASD.