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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Asperger’s Disorder Treatment Essay

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Updated: Jun 18th, 2020


This proposal highlights the different activities required to investigate the effect of using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to treat Asperger’s Disorder on social nervousness. The report first presents a background of Asperger’s Disorder and the effect it has on individuals. The paper then proceeds to discuss the proposed methodology that will be used to investigate the effect of using CBT as an intervention to improve the social skills of individuals with Asperger’s Disorder. It is hypothesized the exposing individuals to a controlled CBT intervention procedure will increase their social skills and their Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities. This will increase their ability to be sensitive to the emotive dispensation of other individuals.

Main Body

People that have Asperger’s Disorder encounter numerous problems when growing into maturity. Most people have problems finishing college, remaining employed, finishing daily assignments independently, dealing with co-morbid syndromes, and sustaining steady relationships (Ramsay 2005). The problem is not in the individuals’ lack the understanding to perform these functions, but problems with social abilities may hinder their experience and success.

For people with Asperger’s Disorder, daily procedures and tasks may be difficult because their limited range of conduct may make them rigid and regimented. Alterations in the schedule, unforeseen occurrences, or devastating events may be traumatic, and this increases the complexity of functioning in modern-day society. When the stress level becomes higher, people with Asperger’s Disorder increase their rigidity and depend on their regimented practices as a way of controlling their nervousness (Gillott, Furniss, & Walter, 2001). Strangers consider people with Asperger’s Disorder as people that are reluctant to change, and this makes daily communication with peers, teachers, and family members tense and possibly unbalanced (Graybar & Leonard, 2005).

People new challenges when they enter tertiary schools due to the change in environment, the necessity for independence, and social and academic difficulties (Attwood, 2007). Even though people with Asperger’s Disorder can excel in their academic pursuits, the change in environment, pressure, and other expectancies may result in dropouts and related depression and anxiety (Attwood, 2007). The accommodations and changes present in learning institutions may be inaccessible to people who gain within the normal range on aptitude examinations, such as people with Asperger’s Disorder. The problems do not lie in the difficulty of the course but come from small alterations, such as altered timetables, the strange nature of the subject, or the interpersonal communications with instructors and peers.

Individuals with Asperger’s Disorder usually find it difficult to gain and manage the occupation. They are usually capable of satisfying the job requirements, often performing better than their co-workers in expertise and knowledge. However, the social complexities of interacting with co-workers put their employment at risk (Hurlbutt & Chalmers, 2004). Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome may be too subtle during arguments, or when communicating with customers and co-workers.

These peculiarities increase their difficulty to function in a team or to maintain their employment in an environment where class depends on fruitful and rewarding careers (Hurlbutt & Chalmers, 2004). Underemployment or unemployment causes depression in individuals with Asperger’s Disorder (Attwood, 2007). Unemployment has a major effect on an individual’s idea of self-worth.

When considering other areas of life, individuals that have Asperger’s Disorder may, and usually do, have successful relationships and marriages. Also, issues with social circumstances, problems showing their feelings, habitually taking part in unsocial actions, staying indoors instead of going on vacation or visiting friends, or separating from family and relations, usually leads to difficulty in a relationship (Attwood, 2007; Ramsay, 2005).

Owing to this, the partner of an individual with Asperger’s Disorder may demand therapy, with the notion that it was the individual’s routine and rigid character started after their courtship (Attwood, 2007). Partners explain that the individual with Asperger’s Disorder is insensitive to the emotional expressions, acts of love, and concrete signs of love (Attwood, 2007). Basically, individuals with Asperger’s Disorder may find it difficult to understand the emotional constituents of a courtship that requires understanding their spouse’s desires and wishes. Such relationships usually come to an end since they are not sure of the best way to comfort their partner, and this allows the person with Asperger’s Disorder to feel confused and lonely.

Owing to these complexities encountered in their daily activities, co-morbid diagnoses are usually related to Asperger’s Disorder (Attwood, 2003). Many children battle the major elements of co-morbid disorder, and their shift into puberty generates new problems with nervousness, obsessional syndromes, unhappiness, suicidal thoughts, and anger (Gutstein & Whitney, 2002). Puberty comes with self-reflection, which indicates the variations between them and other individuals—seeking the interactions that are significant in the cause of this developmental phase.

These constant frustrations, social irresponsibility, and problems with emotive control make it difficult for them to cope. A consideration of these problems exposes the fact that it is important to offer an intervention for the percentage of the population with Asperger’s Disorder. Psychotherapy is a treatment that investigates the relational nature of the societal difficulties faced by these people, while assisting to release co-morbid syndromes including depression and anxiety.

The proposed research will investigate the efficiency of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for people with Asperger’s Disorder. The research will focus specifically on youths with Asperger’s Disorder, and although these youths usually experience various anxieties, this research will focus on their struggle with social nervousness in social dealings.

The research will seek to identify the CBT approaches and adaptations that are required in a psychotherapy situation to prevent this nervousness. Also, Theory of Mind (ToM) is described, an ability that most individuals obtain naturally to comprehend other people’s mental situations. By developing the ability to appreciate other people’s ideas, effectiveness in social interaction may increase, therefore eliminating the negative social communications and the nervousness that is associated with it.

The purpose of the research is to offer additional information on the efficiency of CBT. There are two basic constituents. The research first aims to examine the efficiency of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy method in in eliminating or controlling nervousness in youths with Asperger’s Disorder. Secondly, the study will try to identify the differences in ToM abilities after the youths have been exposed to the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy intervention process. Through the performance of a group strategy, the outcome of the research will offer a stronger indication of the treatment’s efficiency and its influence on the lives of the study sample.

This research will be based on two major hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that the scores of the sample population and their parents on scales of the sample’s overall and social nervousness will considerably reduce after CBT treatment method. The second hypothesis suggests is that those exposed to the CBT intervention method will have a higher ToM than they had before the experiment.

This research will use a case study method. Three teenage boys with Asperger’s Disorder will participate in the project. These participants will be aged between 12 and 17 years old. Each participant will have an established diagnosis of Asperger’s Disorder. The participants will be selected by sending flyers to the resident autism association. The selection letter will be circulated to the members of the organization through electronic mail.

All participants selected will be young males that have Asperger’s Disorder and express social nervousness. The participants’ parents will be informed and asked to confirm that their children are experiencing social anxiety during the study. Parents will not be asked to provide any official analysis. All participants will respond to the researcher through phone, during which that the researcher will present questions to make sure that the proposed participants meet the research requirements. None of the participants will be eliminated for being diagnosed with any other co-morbid condition, such as NVLD. Parents and participants will be required to confirm symptoms of social nervousness.

The researcher will perform a preliminary interview with the parents and their children, researcher asked questions to determine each participant’s specific experiences of general and social anxiety. All those participating in the research will be required to fill an informed consent form before the research commences (Bordens & Abbott, 2014). Each participant will finish the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exercise after they have offered consent to participate in the study. Participants will be informed of the purpose of the research and of their anonymity.


Attwood, T. (2007). The complete guide to asperger’s syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Bordens, K. S., & Abbott, B. B. (2014). Research design and methods: A process approach. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Gillott, A., Furniss, F., & Walter, A. (2001). Anxiety in high-functioning children with autism. Autism, 5(3), 277-286.

Graybar, S. R., & Leonard, L. M. (2005). In defense of listening. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 59(1), 1-18.

Gutstein, S. E., & Whitney, T. (2002). Asperger syndrome and the development of social competence. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 17(3), 161-171.

Hurlbutt, K., & Chalmers, L. (2004). Employment and adults with asperger syndrome. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 19(4), 215-222.

Ramsay, J. R., Brodkin, E. S., Cohen, M. R., Listerud, J., Rostain, A. L., & Ekman, E. (2005). Better strangers: Using the relationship in psychotherapy for adult patients with asperger syndrome. Psychotherapy, Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 42(9), 483-493.

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