Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and Co-occurring Anxiety Symptoms: Implications for Assessment and Treatment

Authors, with a copy to the Editor:


PURPOSE.  The purpose of this article is to provide guidance and recommendations for children with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and anxiety, including suggestions for assessment and intervention.

CONCLUSIONS.  Children with ASD are at increased risk for developing clinical anxiety symptoms. Anxiety symptoms can impact school performance, peer relationships, and family functioning. Emerging clinical research has demonstrated the potential positive impact of modified cognitive behavioral therapy to reduce anxiety symptoms in children with ASD.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS.  Modifications necessary to make cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) protocols accessible to children with ASD are presented, along with specific suggestions for evaluating and treating anxiety symptoms.