The Coping Cat program for children with anxiety and autism spectrum disorder: a pilot randomized controlled trial

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Jan;43(1):57-67. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1541-9.


The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate whether a modified version of the Coping Cat program could be effective in reducing anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Twenty-two children (ages 8-14; IQ ≥ 70) with ASD and clinically significant anxiety were randomly assigned to 16 sessions of the Coping Cat program (cognitive-behavioral therapy; CBT) or a 16-week waitlist. Children in the CBT condition evidenced significantly larger reductions in anxiety than those in the waitlist. Treatment gains were largely maintained at two-month follow-up. Results provide preliminary evidence that a modified version of the Coping Cat program may be a feasible and effective program for reducing clinically significant levels of anxiety in children with high-functioning ASD.

Trial registration: NCT01187784.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Asperger Syndrome / complications
  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology
  • Asperger Syndrome / therapy
  • Autistic Disorder / complications
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / complications
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data