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Clinically significant anxiety affects many youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and is associated with a number of functional consequences. Building from treatment approaches of anxiety in typically developing populations, pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches to treating anxiety in ASD are being increasingly examined. Despite being commonly prescribed, there is limited empirical support beyond open trials and case series at present for the use of antidepressants or anxiolytics in the treatment of anxiety for youth with ASD. A modest body of evidence exists supporting the application of a modified form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, with associated reductions in anxiety and some core autism improvements. Further research, refinement and replication is needed to establish the efficacy of treatment approaches for anxiety in youth with ASD, what treatment component(s) are most appropriate for which patients, what factors may play an integral role in treatment outcomes, and whether treatments result in durable and generalizable gains.
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- Translation of Anxiety Treatment to Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Robert R. Selles
Eric A. Storch
- Springer US