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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Elevated Levels of Anxiety
by Reid, Alexis, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2014, 84; 1557785
Abstract (Summary)

Rates of children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are increasing, with current reports indicating that one in 68 children in the United States have an ASD (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012). With the high prevalence rates of individuals being diagnosed with an ASD, there is a need for interventions to address these disorders. Treatment is needed for the core symptoms of these disorders, such as social and communication deficits, as well as fixated interests or repetitive behaviors (American Psychological Association (APA), 2000). However, ASDs are often accompanied with co-occurring disorders or difficulties, which bring about need for their own treatment and can also bring challenges to treating the core symptoms of an ASD. It is estimated that 70% of people with ASD experience additional disorders, such as Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Simonoff et al., 2008). Anxiety Disorders are among the most common diagnosed in childhood for the entire population, therefore, it is reasonable to expect anxiety to be common among children with ASDs (De Bruin et al., 2007; Morgan, Roy, & Chance, 2003). Early treatment for Anxiety Disorders is critical due to the fact that the disorder tends to follow children into adulthood (Spence, Rapee, McDonald, & Ingram, 2001). One treatment for Anxiety Disorders, child-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), has been identified as "probably efficacious" based on criteria set forth by the APA's Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice (Ollendick, King, & Chorpita, 2006). Criteria is met when "three published studies, conducted by different investigators, including one in another country, provide supportive evidence" (Kendall et al., 1997, p. 378). However, studies on the effectiveness of CBT for anxiety have not typically included children with an ASD. Studies conducted using CBT with children with an ASD have shown promising results. Children with developmental disabilities, especially high-functioning children with ASD, are at greater risk for an Anxiety Disorder (Muris et al., 1998). Therefore, it is necessary to determine if CBT is an effective treatment for children with ASD who also experience anxiety. This paper will examine the effectiveness of CBT for co-occurring ASD and Anxiety Disorders.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McKenney, Elizabeth
Commitee: Hupp, Stephen, Jewell, Jeremy
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: School counseling, Psychology
Keywords: Anxiety Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Publication Number: 1557785
ISBN: 978-1-303-95900-4
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