Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children

The Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children's Hospital of New York at NYU Langone, offers evidence-based behavioral therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder. These treatments can help your child’s doctors to monitor and alter your child’s behavior.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be a treatment option for children with autism spectrum disorder who have other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It teaches children to alter their beliefs or behaviors to avoid negative emotions. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy has two main parts. The cognitive component helps children change how they think about a situation, whereas the behavioral component helps children change how they react to a situation.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term, problem-focused approach. The goal is to teach children, as well as their parents, a variety of coping skills to help the child manage difficult situations.

During cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, your child works with a specially trained therapist at the Child Study Center to learn how his or her thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are related and influence each other. In order to change unwanted feelings or problematic behaviors, the therapist teaches your child strategies to modify thoughts and to respond differently during certain situations.

Adolescents can also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy. This treatment can help teens to develop better social and problem-solving skills, which consequently helps to improve their relationships with others.

Through cognitive behavioral therapy, children and parents gain a better understanding of the difficulties experienced by the child. This type of therapy teaches an array of coping skills to help children manage emotional distress. This can also help the child to manage the physical symptoms, negative thoughts, and problematic behaviors that often accompany this type of distress.

Our clinicians can meet with your child individually or in a group. In addition, they offer family therapy as well as parent coaching.