Group Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety in Adolescents with Autism and Intellectual Disability: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Principal Investigator: Audrey Blakeley-Smith, PhD

Facing Your Fears is a 14-week Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) program in which teens and their parents learn skills to support anxiety management and build coping skills and brave behavior. It is a family-focused, group treatment.  Teens between the ages of 12-18 who have Autism, Intellectual Disability, and anxiety are eligible for participation. Families will participate in assessments and will either enter the CBT treatment group immediately or within 6-months of joining the study.  The grant will run from September 2021-August 2024. Please reach out to to enroll or ask further questions about the study. This study is funded by the Department of Defense. Recruitment information can be seen in the next section. 

Other participating JFK Partners/Developmental Pediatrics Faculty: Richard Boles, Lisa Hayutin, Allison Meyer, Caitlin Middleton, Nuri Reyes, and Judy Reaven.  

What is the study about?
This research study will investigate a Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) group treatment to determine if it is more effective than therapy services that adolescents with ASD and Intellectual Disability (ID) are already receiving at school, in the community, or from their doctor. This CBT intervention has been adapted for the learning and language needs of teens with Autism and ID.

What would I have to do?
1. Participants may enter the 14-week group within 6 months of consent 
2. Current therapies will be tracked 
3. Teens and a caregiver will participate in a 14-week therapy program 
4. Families will complete assessments before the 14-week therapy program and up to 6 months after completing the program

Is this study right for me and my child?
Is your child between 12-18 years of age and does your child have: 1. Autism spectrum disorder, 2. Intellectual disability, and 3. Anxiety (fears or worries) and/or Emotion regulation difficulties? If you answered YES, then you and your child may qualify for this study. Please note that participation is voluntary and you will be compensated for your participation.

COMIRB#20-3142 PI: Audrey Blakeley-Smith, PhD

For more information, please contact: