Anxiety Intervention for Preschool Children With ASD

  • End date
    Mar 10, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger, Inc.
Updated on 10 September 2020
Rachel McDonald
Primary Contact
Kennedy Krieger Institute (10.0 mi away) Contact
pervasive developmental disorder


This study evaluates the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a treatment program for anxiety in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder.


Anxiety is highly prevalent in individuals with ASD with lifelong impact. In this population, anxiety often emerges when children are very young, yet there are no evidence-based treatments for this age group. Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) successfully reduces anxiety levels in young, typically developing children and older children with ASD. This study pilots the DINO Strategies for Anxiety and fear of Uncertainty Reduction (DINOSAUR) program, which is an integrated treatment program that utilizes CBT modified for young children with ASD. The treatment includes heavy doses of parent training to reduce accommodation of the child's anxiety symptoms and interventions targeting fear of uncertainty, a common fear in children with ASD. The feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of this treatment program will be studied.

Treatment DINO Strategies for Anxiety and fear of Uncertainty Reduction (DINOSAUR)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04432077
SponsorHugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger, Inc.
Last Modified on10 September 2020

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Inclusion Criteria

Is your age between 1 yrs and 1 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have any of these conditions: Pervasive developmental disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Anxiety Disorders (Pediatric) or ANXIETY NEUROSIS or...?
Age 4 years 0 months to 6 years 11 months
NVIQ 85 based on Mullen Scales of Early Learning or Stanford Binet 5
Expressive and Receptive Language scores 85 based on Preschool Language Scale - Fifth Edition or Orals or Written Language Scales, Second Edition
DSM-5 diagnoses of Separation Anxiety, Social Anxiety, and/or Generalized Anxiety Disorder and/or the distinct diagnosis of Other Social Fear based on the results of the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule/ASA

Exclusion Criteria

History of psychological trauma
History of neurologic illness
Parent substance abuse, bipolar disorder, psychosis
Parents require support from a medical interpreter
Child displays severe behavior challenges
Severe eyesight or hearing impairments that may interfere with the protocols
Child's behavior prevents their ability to participate in a 1 hour group consisting of various activities (e.g., listening to a story, snacks, playing movement games, completing a craft)
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