Cognitive Behavioral Therapy autism

Hello 🙂 how are you?

Well, you might feel normal since I open this post by a normal greeting, but do you know what?

With autism children and adult autistic, saying the common greeting is not easy as result of their disorder. With children associated with low-functional autism ( low verbal level or the official name is the autistic disorder), the young children barely can say one complete sentence. Being able to say “hello and how are you?” is the result of months of training with therapists and with parents.

For high functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome, the children can say hello and how are you just like normal peers, but they have a different disorder. Besides these two disorders, we have two more subtypes.

Since they have a special need, scientists and therapists compose many unique treatments, interventions to meet.

Like me, I have unofficial autism because this series blog is personal. I am doing the personal adventure to discover about the Autism Spectrum Disorder. The more I search, the more I understand about myself, about my shortcomings, and my strength as well. I have learned about ABA, VB, ESDM, PRT, Parent management training, RDI, DTT and PBS as the previous post. All the name I just list as belonging to one big category which is Behavior and Communication Approach. And those names will help the core autism symptoms depends on the child-specific subtypes ( there are four subtypes: Autism Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, PDD-NOS and Childhood Dis-integrative – information updated on May 2018 according to CDD of the USA)

autism sites

And recently I across one therapy which is the open-mind to me: Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I feel I’m lucky that I found this CBT just in time. I have a heart-to-heart talking with my long distance online girlfriend. You might see this kind relationship is at risk and abnormal, but my girlfriend did help to understand more about this therapy. Before talking with her, I did read a few articles and science reports about CBT. I can prove this therapy is working for everyone, including the young children or adult who associated with autism because I just received a small taste.

Therefore, this CBT is for?

This cognitive behavior therapy can apply to any kind of disorder. When applying this therapy into the autism people (toddlers, young children, teenagers, and adults), the therapy needs to make some modifies to meet the need and bring some positive effects.

It means this modified CBT is good for autism people with any sub-types of autism.

However, the original CBT is very well used for everyone who has some disorders like the sleeping problem, anxiety, depressions, eating behaviors, etc. These disorders are the side by side with the core autism symptoms. Normal people can use CBT for any kind of bad behaviors.

What are CBT original and the modified version for autism about?

CBT full text is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. It composes from two elements: Cognitive therapy and the behavioral therapy.

According to scientists, its class into the Psycho-therapy. The three core feature remarked for the CBT are:

  • What we thought
  • What we feel
  • and what are our behaviors

All three are connected to each other. It starts with the cognition process. We capture the information about the real world by our six senses-> then it converts into the electric signal-> travel into the brain-> at there, we comprehensive, understand -> then the brain sends back the electric order to the body to perform the outcome behaviors (or simple our actions included the saying)

CBT principles

The reality information, the mass matters are the same for everyone. For the autism people, the cognition process is different from other peers, so their behaviors display in the different shape too.

The modified version will change the side disorders, and original CBT can help the associated disorder of the autism so we would have:

  • CBT for anxiety
  • CBT for ADHD
  • CBT for ADD
  • CBT for auditory
  • CBT for depression
  • CBT for eating disorder
  • CBT for gifted ( AS/HFA,etc.)
  • CBT for insomnia
  • CBT for the sleeping disorder

No matter the original or the modified version, this therapy focuses on the problem-solving, on the current situation. The past might contribute a little to the current, present, but CBT helps people to realize their problems-> guide them to change the harmful and bad behaviors.

How the modified CBT changes the patterns?

Let’s say the therapist uses this modified CBT to a young child with Asperger Syndrome (since the High functional autism has high level verbal that equals with the professor, the expert in one specific narrowed topic. The three rest sub-types of autism have lower verbal level-> it brings more difficult for the communication between the child and the therapist).

Asperger Syndrome has one problem: lack of social skills -> so CBT modified into the visual approach.


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First, the therapist presents a social situation which is common in the school-based. The situation is the child with AS goes pass by one classmate without saying, but that classmate was hurt in the physical body. That friend asks the child with AS help. -> this took as the reality input info-> this info goes into the child with AS brain-> Since the child with AS brain is only interesting in one narrow topic, the brain might think why it needs care about that person? or it doesn’t involve to me-> so the child with AS behavior is walking away without saying.

That is before the modified CBT apply-> the therapist might use the blind paper to visual “the sympathy” -> the therapist is helping the child with AS to comprehensive, to understand the situation-> guide to the appropriate behavior which might be asking “are you okay? do you need help? does it hurt much? etc.”

It changes from harmful pattern thinking (it doesn’t involve to me, why I need care about it?) -> to feel sympathy and then do an appropriate behavior to the situation.

When can CBT take the treatment’s role?

It doesn’t have the specific answer since it varies from individual to person, from age to age. Usually, when the bad and harmful behaviors become aggressive, CBT will be used-> it also depends on the behaviors for the time length of using CBT. It could a few sessions. Months tracking for aggressive behaviors.

Therefore, it’s easy to find a nearby therapist here.

Last will be the why I like this CBT

As I mentioned above, I have a little autism (unofficial diagnosed with DSM-5) and a few days ago, this CBT opens my mind for a better cognition.

When I read about this therapy, I flashed back a situation in ESL classroom (English as a Second Language). It was an exam day. I was doing my exam, and one friend finished the exam before me. That friend looked at me and wave goodbye. At the moment, I was focusing on the task, so I didn’t pay much attention to that friend’s action.

-> that was a harmful thinking because, at the time, I thought the friend feels bad when I ignore. I was worry-> a little anxiety-> my behavior was do nothing

After the exam, I send a pm to that friend and said sorry that for not pay much attention. The reality was that friend feels neutral-> but I was overthinking. I made small things into big thing-> and then worry over nothing.

Imagine yourself. Some people won’t accept their crime because they refuse. This CBT can reserve the thinking process. It helps with any young children who have the self-injury.

The therapist will dig about the reason for that bad behavior-> explain to the child -> show the illustration of one neutral action or perhaps change completely one new behavior.

-> this CBT could help you to cognitive, solve your current problem and behaviors then relieve the burden that you have been buried deep down.

Since my past situation is not serious, how about yours? What will CBT benefit your behaviors? Do you have any problem listed above? Leave a reply below.

P/S: In this post, I have an advertising relationship with the stores I link, and those links are not affiliated link.

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