I Believe in me, not OCB: Evaluation of Group Function-Based CBT as a Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour in Four Children with HFA
Neil, Nicole M.
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Researchers have conceptualized repetitive behaviours in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on a continuum oflower-Ievel, motoric, repetitive behaviours and higher-order, repetitive behaviours that include symptoms ofOCD (Hollander, Wang, Braun, & Marsh, 2009). Although obsessional, ritualistic, and stereotyped behaviours are a core feature of ASD, individuals with ASD frequently experience obsessions and compulsions that meet DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) criteria for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Given the acknowledged difficulty in differentiating between OCD and Autism-related obsessive-compulsive phenomena, the present study uses the term Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour (OCB) to represent both phenomena. This study used a multiple baseline design across behaviours and ABC designs (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007) to investigate if a 9-week Group Function-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) decreased OCB in four children (ages 7 - 11 years) with High Functioning Autism (HFA). Key treatment components included traditional CBT components (awareness training, cognitive-behavioural skills training, exposure and response prevention) as well as function-based assessment and intervention. Time series data indicated significant decreases in OCBs. Standardized assessments showed decreases in symptom severity, and increases in quality of life for the participants and their families. Issues regarding symptom presentation, assessment, and treatment of a dually diagnosed child are discussed.