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Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2011 Apr;16(2):203-14. doi: 10.1177/1359104511404749.

Anxiety problems in young people with autism spectrum disorder: a case series.

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Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.


It is now well established that the prevalence of mental health difficulties in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is considerably higher than in the general population. With recent estimates of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders being as high as one percent, increasing numbers of children and young people are presenting to local and specialist services with mental health problems in addition to a diagnosis of ASD. Many families report that the impact of the mental health problems can be as or more impairing than the autism spectrum difficulties themselves. Clinical services are frequently called upon to treat these difficulties; however, there is limited evidence for the effectiveness of treatments in this population. This paper reports a case series of children and adolescents with ASD and an anxiety disorder who were treated with a standard cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) rationale adapted to take account of the neuropsychological features of ASD. Common features of the presentation of the disorders and also treatment processes are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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