News Release

Cognitive therapy can help treat anxiety in children with autism

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Cognitive behavioural therapy and other psychosocial interventions are effective for treating anxiety in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder, according to an analysis of all relevant studies published in 2005-2018. The findings are published in Campbell Systematic Reviews.

The analysis included 24 studies: 22 of the studies used a cognitive behavioural therapy intervention, one used peer-mediated theatre therapy, and one examined the benefits of Thai traditional massage.

Overall, the interventions showed a statistically significant moderate to high effectiveness for treating anxiety compared with treatment-as-usual.

"These are exciting results as they actually show evidence that some of the things that can be done at home or at school to reduce anxiety in school-aged children actually work," said co-author Petra Lietz, Principal Research Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Research.


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