Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Older children, teens, and adults with ASD may benefit from another intervention with a behavioral component – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is used primarily to help individuals with ASD regulate their emotions, develop impulse control, and improve their behavior as a result. In addition, some individuals with autism struggle with fears and anxiety, or may become depressed. CBT has been shown to be helpful for reducing anxious and depressed feelings and behavior by making changes in thoughts and perceptions of situations through a change in cognition. What distinguishes CBT from regular behavior therapy, is working on changing how thinking is processed. Therapists seek to reduce challenging behaviors, such as interruptions, obsessions, meltdowns or angry outbursts, while also teaching individuals how to become familiar with and manage certain feelings that may arise. This is an evidenced-based therapy.