, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 257-265,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 28 May 2010

Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Daily Living Skills in Children with High-Functioning Autism and Concurrent Anxiety Disorders


CBT is a promising treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and focuses, in part, on children’s independence and self-help skills. In a trial of CBT for anxiety in ASD (Wood et al. in J Child Psychol Psychiatry 50:224–234, 2009), children’s daily living skills and related parental intrusiveness were assessed. Forty children with ASD (7–11 years) and their primary caregiver were randomly assigned to an immediate treatment (IT; n = 17) or 3-month waitlist (WL; n = 23) condition. In comparison to WL, IT parents reported increases in children’s total and personal daily living skills, and reduced involvement in their children’s private daily routines. Reductions correlated with reduced anxiety severity. These results provide preliminary evidence that CBT may yield increased independence and daily living skills among children with ASD.