Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 992–1000 | Cite as

Assessment of the Prerequisite Skills for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Children with and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Athena Lickel
  • William E. MacLeanJr.
  • Audrey Blakeley-Smith
  • Susan Hepburn
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to assess the cognitive skills of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) thought to be necessary for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Forty children with ASD and forty age-matched typically developing children between the ages of 7–12 years participated. Groups were comparable with regard to nonverbal IQ, but children with ASD had significantly lower verbal IQ. Children completed three CBT-related tasks requiring emotion recognition, discrimination among thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and cognitive mediation. With the exception of the emotion recognition task, children with ASD performed comparably to typically developing children and with a high rate of accuracy.


Cognitive behavioral therapy Autism spectrum disorders Asperger’s syndrome Autism 



The authors wish to thank the agencies that assisted in obtaining participants for this study: the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) Research Database at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Autism Society of America, and the Albany County School District #1. We also acknowledge the children and families who volunteered their time to participate in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athena Lickel
    • 1
  • William E. MacLeanJr.
    • 1
  • Audrey Blakeley-Smith
    • 2
  • Susan Hepburn
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  2. 2.University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Medicine, JFK PartnersAuroraUSA

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