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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

At the Autism Discovery Institute, therapists work with children (7-17 years old) and their caregivers to meet the unique cognitive and behavioral needs of autistic youth, including challenges related to flexibility, social skills, emotion regulation, anxiety, or depression.  Using evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies, families learn a set of skills to help children identify thoughts and feelings that may be overwhelming, to learn ways to manage those thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Through cognitive behavioral therapy for kids, such as adolescents, they then gradually apply skills they’ve learned to daily situations.

In CBT the therapist, child, and caregiver identify shared goals and then learn and practice new skills to meet those goals during weekly therapy sessions and at home. Caregivers support their child in the regular practice of cognitive therapy skills throughout the week via home-practice assignments in order to help them generalize what they learn across settings and situations. The ultimate goal goal for cognitive behavioral therapy for kids is to build your and your child’s confidence in using these skills regularly without the ongoing support of the therapist.  Collaboration between the child, caregiver, and therapist during sessions and practicing at home is essential to making progress for kids and parents.

Is CBT at ADI a good fit for my child?

  • CBT at ADI is a talk-based therapy that requires a child to be able to engage in back-and-forth conversations with an adult, including parents. It is important that your child is able to communicate their emotions, thoughts, and feelings which can be done with cognitive therapy
  • CBT at ADI is not a good fit for children such as adolescents seeking help with psychosis, hallucinations, or eating disorders. Commonly addressed concerns in CBT at ADI include anxiety, depression, social skills, flexibility, and managing anger or frustration.