Cognitive-behavioural approach for children with autism spectrum disorder: A literature review

Betty P V Ho*, Jennifer Stephenson, Mark Carter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background Interventions using cognitive-behavioural approaches have been suggested to be effective for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the current review, the authors attempt to clarify how these cognitive-behavioural approach interventions may deliver their intended effects by examining the relationships between their aims, content/skills addressed, and outcome measures.Method A total of 39 studies reporting on cognitive-behavioural approaches for children with ASD were located through a database search, examined, and relevant data were subsequently extracted.Result There was a notable lack of correspondence between the intervention aims, content/skills taught, and the outcome variables measured. Mastery of intermediate knowledge and skills, which were presumed to indirectly facilitate desired behaviour change, was not typically assessed.Conclusion It is very difficult to determine the contribution of components to the effectiveness of multiple-component approach interventions. More cost-effective cognitive-behavioural approach interventions may be possible with research focusing on examining the effectiveness of individual components, in particular with single-subject experimental design research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-229
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • children
  • cognitive-behavioural intervention
  • literature


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