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J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Dec;47(12):3883-3895. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2801-x.

School based cognitive behavioural therapy targeting anxiety in children with autistic spectrum disorder: a quasi-experimental randomised controlled trail incorporating a mixed methods approach.

Author information

1
Kent Educational Psychology Service, Kroner House, Eurogate Business Park, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8XU, UK. christopher.clarke2@kent.gov.uk.
2
UCL Institute of Education, London, UK.
3
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College, London, UK.

Abstract

Children with a diagnosis of autism are more likely to experience anxiety than their typically developing peers. Research suggests that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) could offer a way to help children with autism manage their anxiety but most evidence is based on clinical trials. This study investigated a school-based CBT programme using a quasi-experimental design incorporating the child and parent versions of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (Spence, J Abnorm Psy 106(2):280-297, 1997) and the Coping Scale for Children and Youth (Brodzinsky et al., J Appl Dev Psychol 13:195-214, 1992). Interview data was incorporated to help understand the process of change further. Children in the experimental condition had lower levels of anxiety, maintained at follow-up and changes were found in coping behaviours such as lower behavioural avoidance strategies but increased problem solving strategies at follow-up. Limitations of the research together with future directions are also discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Cognitive behavioural therapy; Coping behaviours; Mixed methods; Schools based interventions

PMID:
27138893
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-016-2801-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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