This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition autism spectrum disorder
Treatments individual cognitive behavioral therapy, standard community treatment
Sponsor University of California, Los Angeles
Start date December 2011
End date November 2015
Trial size 44 participants
Trial identifier NCT02010086, 12000556, Autism Speaks 7552


The study is a randomized controlled trial to examine the efficacy of individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) relative to a standard community treatment, in youngsters with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The individual CBT program has been tailored over the last five years to the clinical needs of high-functioning youth with ASD.

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking single blind (outcomes assessor)
Primary purpose treatment
individual cognitive behavioral therapy
Therapists will work with families for 32 weekly sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, implementing the CBT manual for children with ASD (Wood et al., 2007).
(Active Comparator)
standard community treatment
In this condition, the child meets with a therapist for 32 weekly sessions, each 90 minutes. Therapists use an established manual to provide a standard community therapy treatment.

Primary Outcomes

Playground Observation of Peer Engagement scale
time frame: Post-Treatment (week 32)

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 6 years up to 10 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Meets research criteria for a diagnosis of autism, based on child scores on the ADI-R and ADOS tests. - If taking medication, have maintained a stable dose for 1 month prior to baseline assessment. - Between the ages of 6-9 years. - The child's teacher consents to participate in the study to play a modest role in helping implement the intervention and facilitate the school observation assessment. Exclusion Criteria: - IQ less than 85. - The child starts taking new medication(s) or current medication dose changes either (a) less than 1 month prior to the diagnostic evaluation, or (b) during the study period. - The child is participating in an intensive early intervention program for autism such as applied behavior analysis or floortime. - For any reason the child or parents appear unable to participate in the treatment program.

Additional Information

Official title Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Core Autism Symptoms in School-Age Children
Description Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is among the most common childhood developmental disorders. A key goal in the field is the discovery of methods that reduce core autism symptoms. Core autism symptoms include social-cognitive impairments, pragmatic language deficits, and repetitive and rigid behaviors. The core symptoms tend to be stable and resistant to intervention. Most treatments involve group-based social skills training (SST), with limited effects. No treatment for core autism symptoms in school-aged children with ASD meets American Psychological Association guidelines for possible efficacy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) offers a novel approach for addressing core autism symptoms in higher functioning school-age youngsters. Initial results suggest that individual CBT may also be promising for reducing core autism symptoms (Wood et al., 2009b; Drahota, Wood et al., 2011). The treatment is based on a contemporary model of memory retrieval competition, employing strategies for enhancing the retention of adaptive conceptual and behavioral responses and the suppression of idiosyncratic beliefs and behaviors in daily social contexts, emphasizing the use of deep semantic processing to enhance memory retrieval. We are proposing a randomized controlled trial to examine the efficacy of individual CBT relative to a standard community treatment for youngsters with ASD.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in January 2016.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by University of California, Los Angeles.