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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in High-Functioning Autism: Review and Recommendations for Treatment Development

  • Jeffrey J. Wood
  • Cori Fujii
  • Patricia Renno
Chapter

Abstract

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) who have acquired functional communication strategies – particularly more cognitively able individuals at or beyond the elementary school age group – may be candidates for talk-based therapies similar to those employed with children and adults with mental health disorders, such as anxiety (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT). While talk-based therapies are widely used in community settings for school-aged youth and adults with ASD (Hess et al. 2008), the evidence base for using many such treatments is surprisingly weak. Compared to other types of intervention in autism (e.g., applied behavior analysis for young children) and interventions for other types of neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g., attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD), there are very few well-designed studies of CBT and other talk-based therapies for individuals with autism. Of those studies that have been conducted, results are mixed, requiring a careful comparative analysis of the extant treatment literature to distinguish potentially promising practices from those that are less promising. This chapter endeavors to provide such an analysis and, in so doing, to draw preliminary conclusions about worthwhile practices currently available for implementation, as well as to identify directions for further development of treatment techniques.

Keywords

Autism Spectrum Disorder Anxiety Disorder Social Skill Applied Behavior Analysis Social Skill Training 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

ADI-R

Autism diagnostic interview – revised

ADOS

Autism diagnostic observation schedule

ASDs

Autism spectrum disorders

CARS

Childhood Autism Rating Scale

CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy

CGI

Clinical global improvement

DSM-IV-TR

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition

NIMH

National Institutes of Mental Health

OCD

Obsessive – compulsive disorder

ODD

Oppositional defiant disorder

PCIT

Parent – child interaction therapy

PDD-NOS

Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified

RCT

Randomized control trial

RUPP

Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology

SRS

Social Responsiveness Scale

SSED

Single subject experimental design

SST

Social skills training

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey J. Wood
    • 1
  • Cori Fujii
    • 1
  • Patricia Renno
    • 1
  1. 1.UCLA Department of EducationUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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