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How Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help With Autism?


How CBT can help those with autism.

Every parent of a child with autism wants to make sure they are doing all they can to help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or (CBT) has been helping treat young children, teens and adults with a variety of mental illnesses, from eating disorders to anxiety. CBT uses the thoughts, feelings, and behavior we have to help individuals combat their illnesses.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Autism

Most recently, there have been attempts to apply this method of treating patients who are on the autism spectrum. Researchers first took on the task of determining whether or not people who are on the spectrum have the skills required for CBT. In a 2012 study, they found that in fact, they do. These children were able to distinguish their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to be able to work on changing their thoughts.

Group, Family or Individual Therapy

CBT is delivered in a variety of ways: group, family, or individual. The advantage of group CBT is that individuals on the spectrum can learn how others share in their issues. By witnessing how others deal with similar issues, individuals on the spectrum gain a different perspective. Group CBT also allows people who are on the autism spectrum an opportunity to meet others who share their similar challenges. The friendships and social support that is gained from group CBT provides a great benefit for people on the autism spectrum. The benefit of family CBT involves educating parents about their child’s needs and challenges. Family CBT allows parents to learn techniques to help their child in real-life situations, which helps their child reinforce the techniques learned in CBT. By doing so, the child is made to feel hopeful and the parent feels confident that they are making a positive impact in their child’s life. The benefit of individual CBT is that the child feels more comfortable to express themselves and share their struggles with a trusted therapist. However, the drawback is that many who are on the spectrum struggle with opening up to new people, such as a therapist. These children may also feel more comfortable sharing their experiences and challenges with their parents by their side as opposed to being alone in a room with a seeming stranger. Overall, it appears that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has immense benefits for those who are on the autism spectrum. Although, it seems that these individuals on the spectrum would benefit from group and family CBT more than individual CBT. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Through the Family Service Foundation, Inc. If you are a parent of a child who is on the autism spectrum or are yourself on the spectrum, and looking for someone to help you move forward, contact a professional at Family Service Foundation, Inc. We offer outpatient mental health clinic services from trained staff who are passionate about helping all of their clients. We are committed to encouraging growth, changing lives, and enriching the community around us. If you are looking for help, give us a call at (301) 459-2121 or visit us online. For more tips on getting over grief, follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.