Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are far more likely than neurotypical individuals to have a range of mental health concerns. The higher-functioning the individual, the more likely they are to also suffer from anxiety, depression, and/or explosive anger. CBT does not reduce an individual’s symptoms of autism or make them less “autistic”. However, CBT does help the individual deal with mental health challenges.
In order for individuals with ASD to access the CBT curriculum, modifications need to be made. This is because most individuals with ASD have a unique profile (i.e. reduced social skills, rigid thinking, a short attention span, perseverative interests, etc.) that mitigates their ability to participate otherwise.
Modifications for these individuals include more visuals, more concrete language, and a frequent amount of shorter behavioral experiments. Every individual with ASD is different and further modifications may be used depending on their specific strengths and weaknesses.