Looking for families for Facing Your Fears
Does your child struggle with anxiety or excessive worries? Does your family spend a lot of time “working around” your child’s fears? Facing Your Fears is a program which helps children with autism learn how to cope with their fears and worries.
As many with autism experience anxiety, Autism Community prioritized developing resources in this area. We introduced Facing Your Fears, a group-based, cognitive-behavioural therapeutic anxiety management program for children (age 8-12) with high functioning autism. We are hoping to run a second session of this program beginning April 3rd in partnership with Dr. Rebecca Ward and her colleagues at the Phoenix Centre.
Facing Your Fears was developed by Dr. Judy Reavens and her colleague at the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado. They have 8 years of funded research on this program at that site and their positive results have been duplicated through research at other centres.
What the program really accomplished is giving [my child] strategies and a plan and the confidence to know that I can overcome my fears if I have this template that I can apply. - Facing Your Fears parent
Because parents need to participate in the program, we have struggled to get a second session going. But this program is well worth the commitment. In our first session, all of the children and families who took part showed significant and positive results as described in this Standard article. Not only did the children benefit from facing their fears, but their parents’ lives improved as learned to help their child cope with their fears instead of trying to change their routines so their child could avoid becoming afraid. The program proved empowering for both the children and their parents.