School-based application of the brief coping cat program for children with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring anxiety

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology


Department of Counselor Education & Human Services


Advisor: Elana R. Bernstein


Anxiety is a common co-occurring symptom in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and contributes to the difficulties they experience at school. Unfortunately, few school-based interventions are considered well established and lack strong empirical data for successfully treating anxiety in children with ASD. The present study examined the effectiveness of a modified cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention, Brief Coping Cat, when implemented with (n = 3) students with co-occurring ASD and anxiety. Students participated in an eight-week intervention designed to teach children to recognize signs of anxious arousal and use learned strategies to manage the symptoms. Intervention outcomes were measured with weekly self-reported ratings of anxiety. The students' teacher was also interviewed before and after the intervention regarding each students' anxiety and progress with the intervention. Results indicated that the intervention demonstrates effectiveness and flexibility in a school-based setting, and with the unique population of participants, but requires further research to support the generalizability of the study's findings.


Autistic children Behavior modification, Anxiety in children Treatment, Cognitive therapy, Counseling Education, Educational Psychology, Cognitive Therapy, Psychology, School Counseling, Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, School-Based Interventions, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Brief Coping Cat Program

Rights Statement

Copyright 2017, author