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A Randomized Clinical Trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Annual rept. 30 Sep 2011-29 Sep 2012

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This project is focused on conducting the first randomized-controlled trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy CET in 54 verbal adults with autism spectrum disorders and assessing the efficacy of this approach in comparison to an active Enriched Supportive Therapy EST intervention. Major findings to date have demonstrated considerable and broad cognitive impairments in adults actively enrolled in the trial n24 as well as promising initial results on the effects of CET. Despite high levels of intelligence average IQ 112, this sample is performing at the 36th percentile on overall neurocognitive function, indicating a clear need for cognitive rehabilitation. Preliminary analyses of interim 9-month treatment effects among the initial cohort of participants n12 in this clinical trial has suggested a strong advantage of CET for improving social cognition d.77 and adaptive function d1.14, and a medium advantage of CET for improving processing speed d.40, compared to those receiving the EST control condition. These findings suggest both the need and potential for CET to result in a significant treatment advance for underserved adults with autism, and this project holds the potential to considerably improver the lives of the many individuals and families living with these conditions.

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  • Psychology

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