Facing Your Fears in Schools: Managing Anxiety in Students with Autism or Related Social and Learning Difficulties

Facing Your Fears in Schools: Managing Anxiety in Students with Autism or Related Social and Learning Difficulties

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A typical school day can be full of anxiety triggers for students with autism or other social/learning needs. Help autistic students face and manage their fears--and overcome a major obstacle to school success--with this highly effective cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) program designed for use with students ages 8-14. FYF is evidence based, has been shown to reduce anxiety in students with autism, and is an ideal way to increase student access to critical mental health interventions in school.

How It Works

The Facing Your Fears (FYF) program consists of twelve 40-minute sessions that help students with autism or related social/learning needs manage interfering anxiety symptoms. The program is flexible: it can be delivered within the school day or before or after school; in 40-minute weekly lessons or in more frequently occurring 20-minute lessons; and in small groups of 2-5 students or individually with a school provider such as a school psychologist or counselor, special education teacher, or other school provider. With an interactive workbook to guide them, students will manage anxiety using principles of cognitive behavior therapy:

  • Psychoeducation: teaching students to identify their fears and use CBT-based coping strategies to manage physical symptoms and develop positive thinking
  • Graded exposure: giving students opportunities to practice facing their fears one step at a time

After each session, parents and other members of the school team receive handouts to help them support students in using their new skills and strategies during the school day and at home. The program also includes a workbook, a series of video clips, and other materials to engage parents and support their participation--a key factor in helping students make progress.

Why It Works

Facing Your Fears works because it:
  • Uses the proven principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Targets specific fears that interfere with academic and social success
  • Actively involves parents and other school team members to create a strong continuum of support
  • Engages students with memorable, age-appropriate strategies for managing anxiety
  • Gives students repeated opportunities to practice facing their fears

Program Components

  • Manual (available in print and ebook): Includes a detailed plan for each of the twelve student lessons plus the family contact components.
  • Student Workbook (available as fillable PDF download): Contains prompts and activities students use in Sessions 1-12.
  • FYF Parent Workbook (available as fillable PDF download): Includes materials parents and caregivers need for the family contact sessions, plus a detailed overview of the student sessions. (Print copies of the Student Workbooks are also sold separately.)
  • Anxiety PowerPoint slide deck, Helping Students Manage Fears, Anxieties, and Worries: Introduces CBT and the Facing Your Fears program to families and school teams.
  • 6 video clips: Introduce the program and demonstrate student activities.



Judy Reaven, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, JFK Partners, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Medicine, 13121 East 17th Avenue, C-234, Aurora, Colorado 80045

Dr. Reaven is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been the director of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic of JFK Partners since 2001. She has worked in the field of developmental disabilities as a clinician, researcher, and educator since 1985. Clinical and research interests include the co-occurrence of mental health symptoms in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), as well as the development of the Facing Your Fears program for anxiety symptoms in youth with anxiety and ASDs. She has authored a number of peer-reviewed research articles and has presented nationally and internationally on her clinical research.

Dr. Reaven has been Principal Investigator on several research projects funded by private foundations dedicated to autism research (Autism Speaks, Cure Autism Now, The Organization for Autism Research). She is currently the principal investigator on a federally funded project (National Institute of Mental Health), training outpatient clinicians to deliver the Facing Your Fears program to youth with anxiety and ASDs.



  • ISBN:9781681256559
  • 規格:平裝 / 176頁 / 普通級 / 初版
  • 出版地:美國




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