Young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience high rates of comorbid mental health concerns in addition to distress arising from the core symptoms of autism. Many adults with ASD seek psychological treatment in outpatient facilities in their communities that are not specifically geared towards individuals with ASD. However, few studies have looked at the effectiveness of standard psychotherapeutic care in adults with ASD. This study aims to discover how individuals with autism spectrum disorders fare in psychotherapy within a college counseling setting compared to their neuro-typical peers. Clients with ASD (n = 94) or possible ASD (n = 109) were identified from counseling center case notes and the Outcome Questionnaire-45 (OQ) was used to track distress at each session. Clients with ASD showed no difference in level of distress at intake compared to their neuro-typical peers (n = 29,326) and improved about the same amount from pre- to post-treatment. However, students with ASD stayed in treatment for significantly more sessions than neuro-typical clients. Overall, adult therapy clients with autism spectrum disorder appear to benefit from typical counseling center services as much as their neuro-typical peers. They also tend to stay in therapy longer than their peers. Results are discussed with implications for counseling centers and future research directions.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Anderberg, Emily Irene, "Sticking With It: Psychotherapy Outcomes for Adults with ASD in a College Counseling Center Setting" (2016). All Theses and Dissertations. 5959.
autism spectrum disorder, counseling, treatment, outcomes, adults