Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Versus a Counselling Intervention for Anxiety in Young People with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial
The use of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) as a treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been explored in a number of trials. Whilst CBT appears superior to no treatment or treatment as usual, few studies have assessed CBT against a control group receiving an alternative therapy. Our randomised controlled trial compared use of CBT against person-centred counselling for anxiety in 36 young people with ASD, ages 12-18. Outcome measures included parent- teacher- and self-reports of anxiety and social disability. Whilst each therapy produced improvements in participants, neither therapy was superior to the other to a significant degree on any measure. This is consistent with findings for adults.