Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a therapeutic technique used for people of all abilities to learn new patterns of behavior. It's a strategy that works by looking at current thought patterns and determining how those thoughts can be redirected in order to become more productive. CBT is particularly useful in people who are on the autism spectrum, because it looks at changing specific behaviors and not necessarily the root cause of those behaviors. It's an excellent behavioral modification approach to help change behaviors to make them more acceptable in society.
Coping Skills Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
It is difficult for an individual with autism to deal with any changes in their routine. They may want to eat the same food every meal, wear the same color clothing, or refuse to wear anything that is new and feels different. A therapist that uses CBT to work closely with an individual who has autism can help increase their tolerance to changes. While this tolerance is going to take time, an individual can learn coping skills that can help when a perceived change occurs. Even the wrong colored cup to drink out of can send an autistic child into a tantrum, so learning tolerance will take consistency and the ability of the therapist to relate to the child in some way.
CBT Doesn't Cure Autism
Autism is not curable, but a condition that a person lives with throughout their life. Through the use of therapy, an individual can learn how to act appropriately in social situations. Even if the individual doesn't know why they are holding a door open, for example, they can still learn to open a door for a person that is walking behind them. Manners are hard to teach any child, and a child with autism is going to take longer to learn appropriate manners. It's important to understand that while behavior can be modified using solid CBT techniques, the autistic thought processes will continue.
One Step at a Time
The good thing about CBT is that it is completed one step at a time. Each specific problem can be isolated and worked on one at a time. It's a slow process when working with an individual with autism, but with the right therapist, you can see significant progress over time. An individual with autism can learn new behaviors if they are taught the behaviors using the right strategic approach.
For more information, contact local professionals like ABC Pediatric Therapy.